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South Africa: Court postpones Jacob Zuma’s corruption trial as team insists on removal of prosecutor

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A court on Tuesday granted another adjournment as the legal team of former South African president, Jacob Zuma continues to push for the removal of the lead prosecutor in a long-running corruption case.

Mr. Zuma’s corruption trial began last year in May, after numerous postponements and delays due to a number of appeals. Last year, the country’s highest Constitutional Court in South Africa sentenced Zuma to 15 months imprisonment after he failed to appear at the Zondo corruption inquiry despite being instructed to do so.

Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge, Piet Koen delayed the trial to a holding date in August to allow the president of the SCA to reconsider previous rulings allowing Downer to remain on the case.

“The adjournment is granted on the basis that if the (SCA) application … has been determined by the 1st August 2022, and no application for leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court has been launched, the trial shall resume at 10 o’clock on 15 August 2022,” Koen said.

Jacob Zuma was elected president of South Africa in 2009, As president, he launched the R4-trillion National Infrastructure Plan and signed a controversial nuclear power deal with the Russian government, blocked by the Western Cape High Court in 2017.

The 79-year-old former Head of State is accused of taking bribes from French defense group Thales in a case that is more than 20 years old. He is charged with 16 counts of fraud, corruption, and racketeering. Thales is also charged with bribery and money laundering.

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Weeks after justices protest, Nigeria’s Chief Justice, Tanko Muhammad resigns

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Nigeria’s Chief Justice, Justice Tanko Muhammad, has resigned.

Sources confirmed that Justice Muhammad resigned on Sunday night, citing ill-health as the reason for his decision.

Hint of potential crises in Nigeria’s judiciary played out last week when fourteen Justices of the Supreme Court wrote to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, lamenting the parlous state of affairs in the court.

The petition is the first-of-its-kind in the 58-year history of the apex court, the justices chronicled the operational challenges that have almost crippled the efficient adjudication of cases at the court.

Arrangements are said to be ongoing to swear in the next most senior justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.

President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 suspended Justice Tanko’s predecessor Chief Justice, Walter Onnoghen, 15 days after allegations of impropriety were lodged against the most senior judge in the country. It was the first time that Nigeria’s head of state had sacked a chief justice since 1975, when the country was under military rule.

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18 years after suspension, Zimbabwe lobbys for readmission into Commonwealth

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Southern African Zimbabwe has continued with lobbying for readmission 18 years after it was thrown out of the body over allegations of human rights abuses.

The country made its latest move to be readmitted at the ongoing Commonwealth summit in Rwanda.

Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Rwanda Charity Manyeruke, who is attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali as an observer alongside other top government officials, told newsmen that the country’s participation at the summit was a “positive development.”

“Zimbabwe is excited to be participating in Commonwealth forums as this presents opportunities to network with the international community taking into account the government of Zimbabwe’s policy of engagement and reengagement,” Ms Manyeruke said.

“The Commonwealth meeting in Kigali has provided opportunities for our Zimbabwean diaspora across the globe, who are participating as panellists, facilitators and as delegates in the forums.

Zimbabwe was first suspended from the councils of the Commonwealth for one year, after international observers condemned disputed presidential election as unfairly tilted toward Robert Mugabe in 2022.

One year after the suspension, Mr Mugabe revealed that he did not accept a Commonwealth decision to prolong Zimbabwe’s suspension from the group until the country mended its ways.

“Accordingly, Zimbabwe has withdrawn its membership from the Commonwealth with immediate effect,” said a government statement.

Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs deputy minister David Musabayana said he had held meetings with influential people to discuss the country’s potential readmission.

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