Johannesburg, S.A. | Xinhua | South African former president Jacob Zuma’s corruption and money laundering trial at the Pietermaritzburg High Court in KwaZulu-Natal was postponed to Sept. 9 and 10 this year due to his hospitalization, said Judge Piet Koen on Tuesday.
This came as Zuma was currently being hospitalized while serving his 15-month prison sentence at the Estcourt Correctional Centre for contempt of court.
His medical condition was unclear as his legal team said it was confidential.
Koen ordered Zuma’s legal team to submit a medical report no later than Aug. 20 to provide clarity on his health and whether he would be in a position to stand the trial. He also directed that the State may appoint a doctor of its choice to examine Zuma.
The judge said if Zuma’s medical review report was positive, the trial would resume next month.
“If the medical report should be that Mr Zuma’s state of health is safe, that he can attend the court then obviously there will be no need for a postponement and the matter on the 9th of September will then take place,” Koen said.
“We are at the moment completely at the dark as to the justification to the postponement more particularly Mr Zuma’s condition. The doctor’s letter does not identify the medical condition of which he suffers from at all,” said advocate Wim Trengove on behalf of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
Zuma faces 16 charges, including corruption, money laundering, all relating to the sale of the arm deals by the South African government in 1999. His former financial adviser Schabir Shaik was convicted of fraud charges and given a 15-year sentence.