South African court issues arrest warrant for former president, Jacob Zuma

Former South African President, Jacob Zuma (Photo: Los Angeles Times)

A warrant for arrest has been issued for former South African president, Jacob Zuma. Zuma currently has a corruption case before the court, but has been avoiding it for months.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) requested the warrant, the South African Broadcasting Corporation reported. But it does not come into effect until the case resumes on May 6

Zuma is asserting that he is sick, and there have been reports that he is in Cuba seeking treatment.

State advocate Billy Downer told the Pietermaritzburg High Court that Zuma’s team has said he will be out of the country for treatment until mid-March, local media reported. Zuma’s legal team asserted that he had two operations in early January before going abroad

The NPA requested Zuma’s medical records as evidence of his claim, the state broadcaster reported.

But the judge questioned a letter from a military hospital in the capital, Pretoria, explaining Zuma’s absence, noting it had no date.

Zuma’s lawyer Daniel Mantsha told the state broadcaster they were not happy with the arrest warrant.

“That is sending a wrong message that our courts have no sympathy, no compassion, and that is not something that should be celebrated,” he said.
Zuma’s medical team, including the military and doctors abroad, will determine his fitness to appear before the court in May, Mantsha said.