A warrant of arrest has been issued for former South Africa president Jacob Zuma following his absence at a court hearing on Tuesday.
A Pietermaritzburg High Court judge has ordered for Zuma’s arrest if he fails to appear in court on May 6.
Zuma is facing charges of corruption, racketeering and money-laundering in a multi-billion rand arms deal. He failed to appear in court on medical grounds.
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However, Judge Dhaya Pillay would not accept his sick note presented by his lawyer Daniel Mantsha from the military hospital “due to inconsistencies.”
The judge therefore noted it was standard practice to issue a warrant of arrest once an accused fails to appear in court without a proper medical certificate.
The former South African president has been charged in relations to a $2.5 billion arms deal in the 1990s. French arms company Thales is being accused of agreeing to pay Zuma a yearly R500,000 ($33,821) bribe for protection from an investigation into the controversial multibillion-rand arms deal.
He is accused of accepting 783 illegal payments from Thales. The alleged bribe was allegedly facilitated by Zuma’s former financial adviser‚ Schabir Shaik.
Zuma resigned in February 2018 after pressure from his party the African National Congress (ANC). He announced his resignation after a long speech broadcast on national television following an earlier speech accusing his party of treating him unfairly.
He served as president since 2009 and has faced numerous allegations of corruption which he denies. He has also survived several motions of no confidence.