A South African court docket on Tuesday issued an arrest warrant for embattled former president Jacob Zuma after he failed to seem for a pre-trial listening to over corruption prices he faces associated to a Nineties arms deal.
But the execution of the warrant will likely be deferred till May 6 when the case is because of resume.
Zuma’s legal professionals advised the court docket that he was ailing and receiving remedy overseas.
The High Court within the southeastern metropolis of Pietermaritzburg issued the warrant after it questioned the authenticity of the sick notice mentioned to have been signed by a navy physician.
“The court accepts that Mr Zuma may be unwell,” mentioned decide Dhaya Pillay. “But this court needs reliable evidence that Mr Zuma is indeed ill.”
“It is not clear that (the doctor) is indeed a regular practitioner,” she mentioned.
Zuma’s lawyer Dan Mantsha advised reporters outdoors the courtroom that “our courts have no sympathy, no compassion”.
“We are very concerned when courts issue warrants under the circumstances like this when the whole country knows that president Zuma is not well … indeed president Zuma underwent two operations in early January this year,” he mentioned, including the nation knew Zuma was outdoors the nation.
“When you start to issue warrants under such circumstances, people start to question whether we are all equal under the law,” mentioned Mantsha.
Zuma was due in court docket on Tuesday for a pre-trial listening to in a case that has seen quite a few authorized turns over a decade and a half.
He is alleged to have taken bribes price 4 million rand ($270,000) associated to a $3.4 billion arms deal in 1999 when he was deputy president.
In all Zuma faces 16 prices of fraud, graft and racketeering associated to the acquisition of fighter jets, patrol boats and navy gear when he was deputy to the nation’s second black president, Thabo Mbeki.
Both Zuma and French defence firm Thales, which equipped gear for navy vessels, deny the fees.
Zuma was pressured to step down in 2018 by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) social gathering after a nine-year reign marked by corruption allegations and dwindling reputation.