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Former president Jacob Zuma’s matter has been postponed to 17 May as High court Judge Piet Koen said the appeal should run its course.

Former president Jacob Zuma’s matter has been postponed to 17 May as High court Judge Piet Koen said the appeal should run its course.

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Former president Jacob Zuma’s matter has been postponed to 17 May as High court Judge Piet Koen said the appeal should run its course. —

The KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg has granted former president Jacob Zuma a postponement pending his reconsideration application at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).

Delivering his ruling on Monday, high court Judge Piet Koen said Zuma’s appeal process should be allowed to run its course.

Koen said Zuma had challenged many decisions adverse to him in the past and “usually evoking the entire appeal process to the highest courts in this land and in many instances had been unsuccessful, which resulted in inevitable and unfortunate delays”.

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He said the former president had stated on record through previous counsel representing him that he would continue to exercise all his rights.

“But the exercise of those rights as much as they may be viewed with suspicion and distrust from certain quarters, as resulting only in delays which only favour him do not per se amount to an abuse of those rights.”

Koen said 17 May was a holding date for continuation of the trial. However, if the reconsideration application had not been finalised by that date, another date would be determined.

Earlier, the State said Zuma’s postponement application was yet another “delay tactic”.

Prosecutor, advocate Billy Downer, said Zuma’s postponement application was part of his Stalingrad defence, which he described as “meritless”.

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Downer said Monday’s agreed trial date came after nearly two decades of delays. He also spoke about frustration in the matter.

“We just can’t seem to get anywhere because even though the law doesn’t allow what is now happening, in this court, nevertheless, this court is being asked to postpone the matter.”

However, Zuma’s lawyer, advocate Dali Mpofu, said: “These gratuitous insults of ulterior motives and Stalingrad and delays and so on, are not borne out by the evidence before your Lordship. I don’t know what happened in other courts, but before this court, my Lord, Mr Zuma has consistently done everything in his power for this matter to proceed.”

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The SCA recently dismissed Zuma’s latest efforts to force Downer’s removal. News reported that in a one-page ruling, the SCA found Zuma’s petitions had “no reasonable prospects of success in an appeal, and there is no other compelling reason why an appeal should be heard”.

Zuma had asked SCA president, Mandisa Maya, to reconsider that decision. On Sunday, Zuma’s foundation announced that his legal team would try to privately prosecute Downer.

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