Johannesburg, Former South African President Jacob Zuma has appeared in a court and pleaded not guilty to all the charges of state capture, corruption and fraud against him.
On Wednesday, Zuma’s legal representative advocate Dali Mpofu said his client was pleading not guilty to all charges for reasons that would be disclosed at a later stage, reports Xinhua news agency.
The former leader argued in front of the Pietermaritzburg High court in Kwazulu-Natal that the state lead prosecutor Billy Downer should be removed from the trial as he was not impartial.
“He lost his independence and impartiality to conduct a fair trial. It is necessary that Downer is removed as the prosecutor,” Mpofu said.
The lawyer added that Downer “tolerates” unlawful political interference in the case and this would compromise the trial.
Zuma’s co-accused French arms company Thales also pleaded not guilty to all charges presented in court.
They are charged in relation to the procurement of the arms worth billions in 1999.
The state accused Zuma of accepting bribes, gratification and unauthorised payments from other parties in relation to the purchase of the arms deal.
The trial has been postponed to July 19.