Cape Town – Former President Jacob Zuma has finally been served with a summons to appear in court on April 6.
The South African crime investigation unit, the Hawks, have confirmed that Zuma has been officially issued with a summons to appear at the Durban High Court next week.
Michael Hulley, Zuma’s lawyer, has also confirmed that the former President has received the summons.
It is expected, however, that the former president’s first day in court will involve him applying for bail along with arms deal manufacturer Thint.
Head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Shaun Abrahams, made the decision to charge Zuma two weeks ago after he considered his representations. This came after last year’s confirmation by the Supreme Court that a High Court decision that former NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe incorrectly decided to drop the corruption charges against Zuma in 2009.
These charges relate to an arms deal, of which Zuma faces 16 charges of corruption, money laundering, fraud and racketeering. This includes 783 questionable payments Zuma allegedly received in the controversial multi-billion rand arms deal.
Meanwhile, an attorney who was an adviser to the French arms company behind the arms deal, Thint, has claimed he has evidence of the company’s corrupt relationship with Jacob Zuma.
Ajay Sooklal told the Sunday Times he was a witness to Zuma asking a top Thint official to pay for a court application in Mauritius.
The company involved in the arms deal experienced significant upheaval after the allegations. Pierre Moynot, who was the chief executive of Thint at the time of the Zuma corruption scandal, retired in 2009 after he was also accused with Zuma of corruption. At the same time, the company officially ceased to exist, but its activities continued and the company was reborn as Thales South Africa Pty Ltd. This formed part of the local arm of French arms giant Thales International, which describes itself as helping its “customers to create a safer world by giving them the tools they need to perform critical tasks.”
Former NPA boss Mokotedi Mpshe dropped the charges against Zuma in 2009, based on the recordings of the so-called “spy tapes”, which were presented to him by Zuma’s legal team.
The tapes were made up of recordings of telephone conversations between then Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy and former NPA boss Bulelani Ngcuka, which Zuma’s legal team claimed showed political interference in the decision to charge him.