Former president Jacob Zuma is back in court on Friday to face corruption charges. But it could be years before he actually pleads to the case against him. That is because Zuma intends to seek a stay of his prosecution until such time as the legal disputes over whether the state will fund his defence are finalised. There is clear precedent for the state supporting such requests in several high-profile cases, including the murder trial of the apartheid-era policemen accused of killing activist Nokuthula Simelane. Their case was postponed so that they — supported by Simelane’s sister Thembisile Nkadimeng — could challenge a decision by former police minister Fikile Mbalula not to fund the costs of their defence. They won that challenge earlier this week. The state also agreed to the postponement of the case against former Hawks Gauteng head Shadrack Sibiya and investigator Leslie Maluleke — who are facing charges with former Hawks head Anwa Dramat over the alleged illegal rendition of...

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