South African judge dismisses Zuma’s attempt to remove prosecutor

On a two-day state visit in France, former South African President Jacob Zuma makes a statement next to the French President Francois Hollande during a joint press conference at the Elysee Presidential Palace on July 11, 2016 in Paris, France. /Chesnot/Getty Images

A South African judge on Tuesday dismissed an application by former president Jacob Zuma to have the prosecutor in his arms deal corruption trial removed.

Zuma, ousted by the governing African National Congress in 2018, had argued that the prosecutor was biased against him and submitted a “special plea” to the Pietermaritzburg High Court to have him replaced.

The former president, 79, pleaded not guilty to charges of corruption, money laundering and racketeering in the long-running case over the 1990s deal for military equipment. read more

“The special plea is dismissed,” Judge Piet Koen said. “It is obviously in the interests of all the parties – the accused, the state representing the general public – that this matter be resolved as soon as is reasonably possible. It has been hanging around too long.”

Zuma was briefly jailed earlier this year for contempt of court for refusing to appear at a separate corruption inquiry, but he was granted medical parole after being hospitalized for an undisclosed condition.


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