A South African court has issued an arrest warrant for former president Jacob Zuma.

The Pietermaritzburg court issued the arrest warrant after the ex-president did not show up in court to face charges in a corruption. Mr Zuma has been seeking to avoid the case for months, most recently by asserting that he needs medical treatment.

During the Tuesday case session, Zuma’s lawyer presented the judge with a sick note from what he claimed was a military hospital, but Judge Dhaya Pillay questioned its validity, as there was no medical number showing if and where the doctor’s note was certified.

The warrant, requested by the National Prosecuting Authority, was however stayed by the judge until his corruption trial resumes on May 6. Mr Zuma is reported in Cuba for medical treatment, according state broadcaster, SCBC. One of the prosecutors, Billy Downer, told the Pietermaritzburg High Court that Mr Zuma’s legal team had said that the former president would be out of the country for treatment until mid-March. According to Mr. Zuma’s legal team, he had two operations in early January before going abroad.

One of Mr Zuma’s lawyer, Daniel Mantsha, told the state broadcaster that his side was not happy with the arrest warrant. “That is sending a wrong message that our courts have no sympathy, no compassion, and that is not something that should be celebrated,” he said.

Former President Zuma is accused of accepting 500,000 rands (£26,025.25) annually from Thales ( known as Thompson-CSF) in 1999, in exchange for protecting the company from an investigation into the deal. The National Prosecuting Authority had initially filed the charges against Zuma a decade ago.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here