Zuma, who appeared in court in a dark suit and red tie, faces 16 charges of fraud, racketeering and money laundering relating to a $2.5 billion arms deal to buy European military hardware to upgrade South Africa’s armed forces after the end of apartheid in 1994.
The case is a rare example of an African leader being held to account for his actions. Zuma, who was ousted by the ruling party in February, denies any wrongdoing.
His lawyer Mike Hellens asked the judge to allow the former president’s legal team to file a permanent stay of prosecution against the charges.
Judge Mjabuliseni Madondo said the defence should have adequate time to prepare that application.
The state will then give its response to the application on Nov. 30.