An unexpected family link between South African ex-Deputy President Jacob Zuma and a judge has left questions over the future of his rape trial.
Mr Zuma had been seen as a possible future president
South African media have revealed that Mr Zuma has a son whose uncle is a judge who was to have heard the case.
The 29-year-old man's mother is the sister of Judge Jeremiah Shongwe.
Judge Shongwe was due to judge the case after Bernard Ngoepe stood down at the defence's request, and Phineas Mojapelo stood down for "personal" reasons.
Mr Zuma's defence team would have raised the issue of the blood connection in court if Judge Shongwe had not stood down from the case, the Star newspaper reports.
The recusal of the three most senior judges of the Transvaal region - Judge President Ngoepe and his two deputies, Judge Mojapelo and Judge Shongwe - has left uncertainty over who will preside over the Zuma trial when it resumes in the Johannesburg High Court on 6 March.
The adjournment was granted on Tuesday, the second day of the trial, to allow the defence time to study documents put forward by the prosecution.
In another development, the Durban High Court ruled on Wednesday that documents seized by the state as evidence in Mr Zuma's separate trial for corruption must be returned to Mr Zuma.
On Tuesday, Judge Ngoepe announced he was standing down from the rape case after the defence accused him of bias, citing a controversial search warrant issued by Judge Ngoepe in in the corruption case, which returns to court in July .
Legal experts have expressed concern that Judge Ngoepe's decision to stand down from the rape trial would damage the credibility of the judiciary.
"I don't think the defence team should be discussing with any judge the suitability of decisions to appoint judges to hear the case," Professor David Unterhalter of Witwatersrand University told Business Day newspaper.
An unnamed Zuma aide quoted by Reuters news agency denied the defence was trying to "pick a judge".
"We have to wait to hear who is named to preside over the trial and if we have issues with them then we raise them," the aide said.
Several hundred of Mr Zuma's supporters demonstrated outside the court on Monday and Tuesday.
Mr Zuma's support has waned since rape charges were laid, but he remains a popular politician.
It is alleged that Mr Zuma raped a family friend - a woman in her 30s - at his home in Johannesburg last November.
Mr Zuma, 63, has denied the charges.
He was sacked from the government last year and was later charged with corruption. Mr Zuma is a veteran of the ANC struggle to end apartheid. At one stage he was championed by trade unionists and those on the political left as a likely presidential candidate to succeed Thabo Mbeki.
Mr Zuma remains deputy leader of the ruling ANC although it has been agreed that he should not perform any executive functions.
The charges of rape and corruption, for which he is to face trial in July, appear to have left his political career in tatters.