Home News Wait until 2025 for Zuma’s arms deal corruption trial to begin

Wait until 2025 for Zuma’s arms deal corruption trial to begin

by Zahid Jadwat


Former president Jacob Zuma’s arms deal corruption trial is scheduled to begin in April 2025. The graft charges relate to a multibillion-Rand arms deal all the way back in the late 1990s.

“The NPA is relieved that finally a trial date has been set and reserved by the Judge President on 14 April 2025, during the second and third term of the Pietermaritzburg High Court,” said NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga.

The former president and now uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) leader, alongside French arms dealer Thales, face a litany of charges stemming from a major defence procurement programme.

By the time it was paid off, in 2020, the actual cost of the arms deal was estimated at R142. 864 billion. It was shrouded in controversy, with Zuma and Thales at the centre of corruption allegations.


SMread: Health minister pleads with doctors to stay as Ramaphosa signs NHI Bill into law

Date set

The trial has been beset by delays due to Zuma’s numerous attempts to remove prosecutor Advocate Billy Downer. But, on Thursday, Judge Nkosinathi Chili at the Pietermaritzburg High Court confirmed the trial would run from April until September 2025.

The date of the trial comes two decades after Zuma was first charged with corruption in relation to the Arms Deal. He faces 18 charges of corruption, racketeering, fraud and tax evasion.

Before it can get underway though, there is one more stop. There will be another pre-trial conference, scheduled for 29 August.

“Given the fact that the judge president has reserved those two dates in the second and third term for the trial to proceed, we are hoping that there are no hurdles that we will have to navigate now and that, finally, the matter will proceed,” said Mhaga, according to News24.

“Remember, [Zuma and his co-accused, French arms company Thales] have already pleaded, and even the fact that there is now going to be a second pre-trial conference is a frustration for the State, but we are hoping that on 29 August that pre-trial conference will iron out any outstanding preliminary issues so that on 14 April 2025 the trial proceeds,” he said.

Related Videos