By Hassan Isilow

JOHANNESBURG (AA) – Lawyers representing South Africa’s former President Jacob Zuma on Monday claimed that he is being treated unfairly by the country’s judicial system.

Advocate Dali Mpofu told the Pietermaritzburg High Court that it was unfair for the court to allow senior prosecutor Billy Downer, who he claimed was biased against Zuma, to be involved in the case related to corruption in a weapons deal.

Zuma, 79, and Thales, a French arms firm, are jointly charged with 18 counts of corruption, money laundering, tax evasion, and racketeering in connection with a $2.5 billion arms deal in the late 1990s.

Zuma and Thales have both denied any wrongdoing.

The Pietermaritzburg High Court is currently hearing Zuma’s latest application to have Downer removed from the case, following an unsuccessful bid last October.

Charges against Zuma in the were dropped in 2009 by former National Prosecuting Authority head Mokotedi Mpshe weeks before he was elected president.

They were, however, reinstated in 2018, marking one of the longest-running legal battles in the country.

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