The corruption trial of former South Africa president Jacob Zuma has been delayed again after his lawyer announced Tuesday he would appeal.
If the trial goes ahead, the trial would be the first time Zuma faces a court on graft charges, despite a string of accusations over his long political career.
The High Court in the southeastern city of Pietermaritzburg last week rejected his request to have 16 charges of fraud, graft and racketeering dismissed, clearing the way for the trial to start on Tuesday.
But Zuma’s lawyer Thabani Masuku told the court at the start of the trial that the ex-president would appeal, dragging on a case that has seen numerous legal twists over 15 years.
After the hearing, Zuma told a small group of supporters gathered outside court that “there have been many conspirators against me”.
“There is no justice that will be served by continuing with this case,” he told the crowd in Zulu.
Zuma was forced to resign as president last year by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party after a nine-year reign marred by corruption allegations and dwindling popularity.
He is accused of taking bribes worth four million rand ($270,000, 240,000 euros) when he was deputy president from a 51-billion-rand ($3.4-billion) 1999 arms purchase by five European firms, including French defence company Thales.
Both Zuma and Thales, which is accused of paying the bribes and was also to stand trial, deny the charges.