Corruption trial against former South African President Zuma postponed until August

The corruption trial concerning former South African President Zuma has been postponed until next month.

A judge at the High Court in Peter Maritzburg, in Zuma’s home province of KwaZulu-Natal, adjourned the trial until Aug. 10 on Tuesday (July 20). Zuma’s lawyers had previously asked for the trial to be postponed to give Zuma time to appear in person and have a proper consultation with his lawyers.

Zuma is charged with multiple counts of corruption, fraud and organized racketeering in connection with a massive 1999 arms purchase involving French arms giant Thales. The company has been charged with corruption and money laundering.

Zuma, 79, appeared in court Monday via video link from the prison where he is serving his sentence. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison by South Africa’s Constitutional Court in late June for refusing to appear in court to answer questions in a separate investigation, that one related to allegations of corruption during his nine-year presidency. Zuma left office in 2018.

Zuma’s surrender to prison stirred angry protests in KwaZulu-Natal, which quickly turned into riots, looting and arson and extended to Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city and economic hub. More than 200 people died in the violence before authorities deployed security forces to restore order. More than a thousand people have been arrested for theft and vandalism.