The criminal court proceedings against former president Jacob Zuma are expected to be brief in the Pietermaritzburg high court on Tuesday.

Zuma is not expected to make an appearance.

The National Prosecuting Authority is expected to inform the court that it is ready to set a trial date.

“The state is ready to start the trial and has indicated its earliest preferred date for trial and Thales has done the same. The actual date of trial will be determined by the court taking into account its court roll and availability of the state and the two defence teams,” NPA spokesperson Sipho Ngwema said on Sunday.

Meanwhile, it was business as usual in the court precinct despite the heavy police presence.

Authorities had earlier said there would be no road closures, however the Freedom Square may be occupied by Zuma supporters.

By 9am, no supporters had arrived at court.

Zuma is accused of receiving an annual bribe of R500,000 from French arms dealer Thales for protection from an investigation into the controversial arms deal.

The alleged bribe was facilitated by Schabir Shaik, who was Zuma’s former financial adviser.