The KwaZulu-Natal High Court issued an arrest warrant for former president Jacob Zuma on Tuesday after he skipped court on grounds of needing medical treatment.
The judge, however, stayed the warrant until his corruption trial resumes on May 6.
Zuma’s lawyers submitted documents to the court, saying the former president was ill and had not been in South Africa since January 23.
Zuma is on trial for on corruption charges over a $2 billion arms deal with French defence firm Thales in the 1990s.
He is accused of accepting 500,000 rands (US$34,000) annually from Thales in 1999, in exchange for protecting the company from an investigation into the deal.
Zuma has denied the allegations, saying that they are politically motivated.