JACOB Zuma failed to appear in the Pietermaritzburg high court on Tuesday for his corruption trial, citing a medical condition. His lawyer submitted a sick note but the judge said it had inconsistencies.
A warrant of arrest has been issued for former president Jacob Zuma until his next court date.
Judge Dhaya Pillay said the warrant is stayed until May 6 when Zuma’s criminal matter is expected to go back to court.
Zuma failed to appear in the Pietermaritzburg high court on Tuesday, citing a medical condition for his absence.
However, the National Prosecuting Authority requested that the court issue a warrant of arrest as Zuma did not furnish proper medical evidence so they could “form a position” relating to his absence.
Zuma’s lawyer, Daniel Mantsha, submitted a sick note from the military hospital where Zuma was treated but judge Pillay said it was inadmissible due to inconsistencies.
Mantsha argued that Zuma’s medical health was an issue of “national security” and that a sick note from the military hospital should suffice.
However, Pillay did not agree.
She said it was standard practice in every court that if an accused is not in attendance and failed to produce a medical certificate, a warrant of arrest must be issued.
A representative from Zuma’s co-accused, French arms company Thales, was present in court on Tuesday.
Thales is accused of agreeing to pay Zuma a yearly R500,000 bribe for protection from an investigation into the controversial multibillion-rand arms deal.
The alleged bribe was allegedly facilitated by Zuma’s former financial adviser‚ Schabir Shaik.