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Last Updated: Monday, 31 July 2006, 10:29 GMT 11:29 UK
Judge postpones Zuma graft case
A supporter of South African ex-Deputy President Jacob Zuma outside the court in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Mr Zuma has not given up his presidential ambitions
The corruption trial of South African ex-Deputy President Jacob Zuma has been postponed to 5 September.

On Monday, his lawyers asked to have the case withdrawn, while the state wants time for further investigation.

Judge Herbert Msimang said the state must submit its response to the defence request by 14 August. After that he will rule whether the case may proceed.

Mr Zuma has denied any wrongdoing and suggested there could be a political conspiracy to discredit him.

Hundreds of singing supporters thronged the court in Pietermartizburg as Mr Zuma arrived.

The case could determine the political future of a man who remains one of South Africa's most popular politicians.

Earlier this year, Mr Zuma was acquitted on a charge of rape in a separate trial.

He was sacked from the government more than a year ago when his financial adviser Schabir Shaik was found guilty of corruption.


The judge said there had been a generally corrupt relationship between Mr Shaik and Mr Zuma, and evidence led in Mr Shaik's trial prompted the National Prosecuting Authority to start investigating charges against Mr Zuma.

He first appeared in connection with the corruption allegations in the Durban magistrate's court in October.

Lawyers for Mr Zuma and his co-accused - an arms company called Thint - are expected to argue that the delays so far have been unreasonable and that the charges should therefore be dropped.

BBC southern Africa correspondent Peter Biles says Mr Zuma has not given up his presidential ambitions in spite of the damage to his reputation stemming from these allegations of corruption, and the earlier rape trial.

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