Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: JACKIE CLAUSEN
Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: JACKIE CLAUSEN

A warrant of arrest issued for former president Jacob Zuma has been stayed until June 23.

The warrant, which was issued in February when Zuma failed to appear in the Pietermaritzburg high court, was previously stayed until Wednesday but the postponement of the matter led to it being extended.  

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Wednesday that the criminal proceedings against Zuma and French arms manufacturer Thales was provisionally postponed to June 23.

“By agreement, all parties have committed to the provisional postponement of the matter for the following purposes: the continuation of pre-trial management; the result of Thales’s application to the Constitutional Court for leave to appeal against the Pietermaritzburg high court’s judgment in October 2019; and an inquiry in terms of section 170 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Act, No 51 of 1977, regarding Mr Zuma’s failure to appear at the hearing on February 4 2020,” said KwaZulu-Natal director of public prosecutions spokesperson Natasha Kara.

She confirmed that the execution of the warrant of arrest issued on February 4 would be stayed until June 23.

In February, the court heard that Zuma was too ill to be present in court during the criminal proceedings against him. Zuma’s then lawyer Daniel Mantsha submitted a sick note from a military hospital at which Zuma was said to have been treated, but judge Dhaya Pillay said it was inadmissible because of inconsistencies.

On Monday, Zuma’s new lawyer, Eric Mabuza, said that the former president’s health was a private matter. “I don’t want to get into all of that,” he said.

Zuma’s co-accused, Thales, is accused of agreeing to pay Zuma a yearly R500,000 bribe for protection from an investigation into the controversial multi-billion-rand arms deal.

The alleged bribe was facilitated by Zuma’s former financial adviser‚ Schabir Shaik.