PETER BRUCE: Why Jacob Zuma will still be in court in his 80s
'The state capture trials will start, or be under way, round about December 2022 when the ANC next holds an elective conference'
Hellens's new strategy (replacing the old Michael Hulley one of asking the NPA to review its decision to charge Zuma for fraud in connection with the old arms deal of the late 1990s) is to ask for a permanent stay of prosecution. They'll be back in court in Pietermaritzburg at the end of November.
Hellens was confident on Friday that this would work and hey, this is KwaZulu-Natal we're talking about here. The dice are loaded and everyone knows it. It's where Judge Chris Nicholson changed South African history by letting Zuma off the hook back in 2008 when he argued, as Hellens intimated he would argue now, that the case against Zuma was politically motivated.
So assume the worst and Hellens wins his permanent stay. The state will appeal and, as happened to the Nicholson judgment, the Pietermaritzburg ruling will be overturned by the Supreme Court of Appeal. Hellens will appeal that and it will go to the Constitutional Court. It will back the appeal court and direct the trial back to the high court. By then Zuma is approaching 80
I know just what former president Jacob Zuma is going through. This week he appeared in court for the third time this year as his trial on fraud charges approaches. He has a new legal team and they have an exciting new strategy. When you're heading to court, your lawyers hire an advocate (sometimes two) - the person in court who speaks to the judge. You go to endless meetings at your lawyer's offices where they talk to the advocate and largely ignore you, the client. You are there to sign stuff.They talk about a strategy. Listening to them is like walking in on a high school reunion; they all know each other, they all have stories starting with "Remember when ... ", they've all got an opinion about the opposing legal team and they talk a lot about who they'd prefer the judge to be. As the client, you're an afterthought. It occurred to me watching Zuma start and finish his appearance on Friday that even though he has obviously found money to defend himself again (probably from the Gu...