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South Africa court cancels Zuma's arrest warrant in 1999 bribery case

South Africa

A corruption trial involving South African former president Jacob Zuma, is due to resume this week.
The case was postponed to June because of the coronavirus outbreak, the state prosecutor said Monday.

Zuma is alleged to have taken bribes of $214,000 related to a $3.4 billion arms deal with French aerospace and defence giant, Thales, in 1999, when he was deputy president.

He was scheduled to appear in court to answer the corruption charges on May 6. But the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Monday announced that the matter had been “postponed in absentia” to June 23.

“This is due to the COVID-19 lockdown travel and court appearance restrictions,” the NPA said in an emailed statement. South Africa shut its borders shortly after detecting its first case of COVID-19 in March.

The High Court in Pietermaritzburg eventually cancelled an arrest warrant for the former president after his lawyer handed in a doctor’s letter confirming his ill-health.

The arrest warrant was issued in February after Mr Zuma failed to appear in court for a hearing. Hearing has now been postponed till September 2020.

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