Cape Town – A high-level South African National Defence Force (SANDF) doctor has reportedly told prison and prosecuting authorities that former president Jacob Zuma’s life is at “significant risk”, adding that he suffered a “traumatic injury last year.
According to News24, Brigadier General Dr Mcebisi Zukile Mdutywa said Zuma now needed “extensive emergency treatment” and six months of care to restore his health.
Zuma, 79, was last week admitted to an unidentified hospital outside the Escourt prison where he is serving his 15-month jail term for contempt of court. This came days before he and his lawyers were due to argue that he should be acquitted of the charges against him.
Zuma was scheduled to appear at the High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday, August 10.
Reports, however, indicated that his lawyers were set to apply virtually, for the postponement of his trial, following his hospitalisation.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Monday confirmed that Zuma’s lawyers will apply for the delay of his court appearance, said EWN.
“As the prosecution team we are ready to argue the special plea, but these are circumstances that are beyond our control,” the report quoted the NPA’s Mthunzi Mhaga as saying.
Zuma faces 16 charges of fraud, graft and racketeering related to the 1999 purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats and equipment from five European arms firms when he was deputy president.
He is accused of taking bribes from one of the firms, French defence giant Thales, which has been charged with corruption and money laundering.
Picture: Getty Images
Compiled by Betha Madhomu