Former President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday said he had decided to withdraw his Constitutional Court bid to drop his corruption trial because he wanted to prove his innocence.
Zuma released a statement confirming that the highest court in the land had accepted his withdrawal of the application for leave to appeal the Pietermaritzburg High Court judgment, which dismissed his bid for a permanent stay of prosecution.
The former president, who faces charges linked to the multi-billion-rand Arms Deal, also tried his luck in the Supreme Court of Appeal but lost.
He previously argued for the case to be struck off the roll, saying the charges were politically motivated and that the unreasonable delays in prosecuting him had prejudiced him.
So why did Zuma give up on his latest bid?
His lawyer Eric Mabuza said: “He doesn’t want to be accused of trying to evade trial. [This is to ensure] the trial can go ahead and he can demonstrate his innocence.”
So why did he go to the Constitutional Court in the first place?
“The issue is that the matter now has come to an end, it’s a chapter that has been closed,” Mabuza said.
Mabuza suggested that people would be exposed when the trial starts.
“The trial will also reveal who were the real beneficiaries of the Arms Deal,” he said.
He said the former president wanted to put this matter behind him.
Meanwhile, Zuma thanked South Africans for the support they have shown him, saying they would soon see that he was innocent. He said he finally wanted to face the corruption charges and prove his innocence.
“He wishes to thank the people of South Africa for the support which they continue to show him, he appreciates that. The former president also wishes to tell the people of South Africa that he has unreserved respect for our judiciary and other relevant state institutions,” Mabuza said.