Cheering crowd greets Jacob Zuma at court hearing

08 April, 2018, 01:57 | Author: Jacqueline Daniels
  • Former president Jacob Zuma poses for a selfie with a Simon Hodgson in a Kulula flight

Zuma at the age of 75 faces at least corruption charges against him along with the charges of racketeering and fraud which includes taking bribes from a French arms manufacturer in a set of accusations that have always been with him during his political career.

Judge Themba Sishi announced the adjournment that was proposed by the state and supported by the defense Friday at the High Court in Durban.

However, the opponents of the ex-South African leader think that the court trial is long overdue.

Mr Zuma has always said he wants his day in court to clear his name. He sat roughly a metre distant from his co-accused in the dock: Christine Guerrier, the unlucky woman seconded by French arms company Thales to represent the firm.

Zuma's appearance so soon after leaving office was striking in a continent with a history of top officials in various countries being criticized for alleged corruption, sometimes running into tens of millions of dollars, but where few ex-presidents have faced justice.

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The leader was, however, conspicuous by her absence at the court since she boycotted the trial accusing to be biased against her. Apparently this was as a result of a scandal that exposed webs of corruption between political leaders and the country bigwigs.

The case was adjourned on Friday to allow Mr Zuma's legal team time to prepare the documents needed for the court to decide whether a review of the decision to re-charge the former president could go ahead. "The truth will come out". I will support him until a court proves that he is guilty.

The former president thanked his supporters for prayers before taking an indirect swipe at the ANC for deciding against rallying behind him. "He is being persecuted by his enemies - I have no doubt about it", the 76-year-old said.

But the NPA last month said the bid was unsuccessful. "Zuma! Zuma!" by supporters in the public gallery. "There are people who are plotting to have me arrested and placed in prison".

He ended by dancing and singing a song in Zulu: "I am wounded by people I grew up with".

Photo: Thousands of "Hands off Zuma" supporters gathered outside the Durban High Court on 6 April 2018.

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Zuma was head of the South African National AIDS Council at the time, and was pilloried for his ignorance.

Thales, which supplied naval vessels as part of the deal, will also be charged with corruption and company representatives are expected to appear in court alongside Zuma.

He faces one count of racketeering, two counts of corruption, one count of money laundering and 12 counts of fraud.

After his resignation on February 14 this year, the leader of the ANC party and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in as president following parliamentary approval. The charges - relating to 783 charges - were dropped before he assumed the presidency in 2009.

Zuma said the charges were reinstated for political reasons.

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BLF President Andile Mngxitama is present as well as Jacob Zuma's son, Edward. If he chooses to stay out of that legal battle, Zuma will undoubtedly fight the case on his own. He believed Zuma's chances of appeal had "zero chance of success" and amounted to an abuse of legal process.


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