Jacob Zuma
**FILE** Jacob Zuma (Courtesy of ewn.co.za)

Former South African President Jacob Zuma has finally spoken out on his long-awaited arms deal trial.

Zuma spoke exclusively to Independent Media on the trial that was set to resume on May 6 but has now been postponed to June 23. Insiders say this move has little to do with the COVID-19 pandemic but the court’s “last-minute hustle to remove KPMG from the witness list,” Independent Media reported.

Zuma told Independent Media that he is ready to show South Africans the real thieves.

“I’ve always said I wanted my day in court,” Zuma said. “It is time for South Africans to hear the truth. It is time. My silence has always been to keep unity but it is now time.”

On April 29, the Jacob Zuma Foundation confirmed to Independent Media that the Constitutional Court had approved Zuma’s withdrawal of his bid for a permanent stay of prosecution.

According to Zuma’s foundation, Zuma had not wanted a stay from prosecution, even though his previous lawyer pushed for one.

“The former president wants to air his part. The court should allow him to do that. This case has been pending for the last 20 years. There shouldn’t be these delaying tactics against him. This case can no longer be politicized, as it has been from the very beginning. What we want is a fair and just process”, the foundation said.

The withdrawal of the bid for a permanent stay of prosecution happened after Zuma axed his longtime attorney Daniel Mantsha and replaced him with Dali Mpofu, an attorney in close links to Advocate and EFF member.

According to insiders, Zuma’s family was aggrieved, feeling that Mantsha had “dropped the ball.” The sources also revealed that the National Prosecuting Authority had “silently” instituted an investigation into accounting firm KPMG. It is believed that KPMG was going to take the witness stand against Zuma but may face Mabuza’s brunt in court since the firm’s grave reputational damage in the recent years.

In a letter Independent Media is in possession of, Mabuza attorneys wrote to the court to seek clarity on why the state has instituted an investigation into KPMG on the eve of the trial.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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