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The Jacob Zuma circus came to town again this week. The former president was due to appear in the Pietermaritzburg high court on Tuesday on graft charges relating to the multibillion-rand arms deal, but did not arrive. Instead his lawyer, Dan Mantsha, handed a sick note to judge Dhayanithie Pillay as an explanation for his client’s absence.

It was known before the court appearance that Zuma would not be attending as he was receiving medical treatment overseas, but the court, as in any other criminal case, needed medical documentation to prove this. Pillay was not satisfied with the documentation that was given or Mantsha’s lack of answers to her questions...

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