Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: FELIX DLANGAMANDLA
Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: FELIX DLANGAMANDLA

Former president Jacob Zuma and Thales, the French arms company accused of bribing him, will seek to appeal against the dismissal of their respective bids to permanently stop their prosecution going ahead. 

Zuma’s advocate, Thabani Masuku, told the Pietermaritzburg high court on Tuesday morning that “Mr Zuma has been ready to face this trial for 14 years ... he is glad that the state is finally ready to proceed”. 

“But Mr Zuma has decided to exercise his constitutional rights, which includes the right to appeal.”

Zuma has previously used what has been dubbed the “Stalingrad” strategy to prevent his case from going ahead, with his former counsel, Kemp J Kemp, telling the high court in Durban more than a decade ago that the then-aspirant ANC president would fight the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)  in “every room, in every street, in every house”.

The lead prosecutor in the case, advocate Billy Downer, said on Tuesday that the NPA would oppose Zuma and Thales’ applications, which it believes have little prospect of success.

Downer also said the state had given Zuma an “updated” forensic report on his financial affairs, which would form one of the primary pieces of evidence against him.

The case has been postponed to February 4.

Former president Jacob Zuma's fraud and corruption case has been postponed to February 2020. Zuma appeared in the Pietermaritzburg high court on October 15 2019 in connection with the matter, which has been in and out of court for at least 14 years.