However, a lawyer said the court proceedings would continue on Tuesday in Zuma’s absence for a hearing of mainly preliminaries.
“It’s simply what we call housekeeping issues to the court. So, even if he’s not there, there’s no prejudice that’s going to be suffered by President Jacob Zuma,” Lawyer Mpumelelo Zikalala of Zikalala Attorneys said.
Last year Zuma spent some time in Cuba. Sources close to Zuma said the former president has returned to Cuba for medical attention of an unnamed illness.
Following his Cuba visit last year, he returned just days before his annual chess tournament and Christmas parties for children and the elderly in his Nkandla Village home of the Eastern Province.
Zuma is facing graft charges emanating from a 1990s multi-billion dollar arms deal that involved a French arms dealer.
He was scheduled to appear at the KwaZulu-Natal High Court sitting in Pietermaritzburg for pre-trial hearings.
The National Prosecuting Authority said Zuma’s been asked to submit a medical record on his return.
The former president is in his eighties. Since he left office in 2018 he has been in and out of hospitals for medical attention – in between his legal woes with the courts and the State Capture Commission of Inquiry.