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Earlier this morning, KwaZulu-Natal High Court Judge Piet Koen dismissed the application from former President Jacob Zuma to have the prosecutor in his corruption trial - Billy Downer - dismissed from the case.

  • Zuma's team had sought to have Downer removed on the charge that he was not independent and impartial.
  • Koen has ruled that the corruption trial will resume 11 April 2022, but Zuma's defence advocate Thabani Masuku has indicated that he could bring another application in front of the court before then.
  • There remains the prospect of an uptick in political risk in South Africa around the time of the trial's resumption. Earlier in 2021, political violence erupted around Johannesburg and in the KwaZulu-Natal region following Zuma's arrest. This then spiraled into widespread looting, vandalism, and the worst rioting seen in South Africa in decades. The gov't and security forces will be keeping a close eye on the social temperature come the spring of 2022.