Jacob Zuma corruption trial in South Africa adjourned shortly after opening
A long-delayed corruption trial of Jacob Zuma has opened in South Africa but was adjourned almost immediately for nine days.
Zuma, who was president from 2009 to 2018, faces charges of fraud, racketeering and money laundering relating to a $2.5bn (£1.98bn) deal to buy European military hardware to upgrade South Africa’s armed forces in 1994.
The 79-year-old denies the charges against him. He has alleged his case has been prejudiced by lengthy delays in bringing the matter to trial and political interference.
Lawyers for the former president are applying for the lead state prosecutor to stand down on undisclosed grounds, and the postponement is to allow their request to be prepared.
Zuma has been accused of using delaying tactics to avoid the trial.
Patricia de Lille, the minister of public works and infrastructure and a key witness in the case, said that after 22 years a further week’s delay was bearable.