Zuma's corruption case adjourned until June

07 April, 2018, 01:08 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • City Press Gallo Images via Getty Images                       President Jacob Zuma's eldest son Edward Muzi Zuma

After just 15 minutes of legal discussions in the packed courtroom A of the Durban High Court, the case was adjourned until June 8 by judge Themba Sishi. Schabir Shaikh, his former financial adviser, was found guilty and jailed in 2005 for trying to solicit bribes for Zuma from a French arms company.

The original charges against Mr Zuma, which arose from 783 suspicious payments he received, were controversially dropped in 2009 shortly before he was appointed South Africa's president for the first time.

Zuma has long claimed that the charges were politically motivated and cooked up by a faction within the ANC that supported former president Thabo Mbeki.

"The truth will come out: what have I done?" he asked.

On Thursday night more than 100 ardent Zuma backers rallied in Albert park in a gritty suburb of Durban to protest his innocence and demand a halt to the prosecution.

"I am here to support him as a leader who steered the ship as the head of the ANC and embodied the party and showed us how to do the same", said 56-year-old Zodwa Ntombela, wearing an ANC scarf.

Andile Mgxitama, one of the Zuma supporters who prayed, sang and danced outside the court, said "we are here to stand with the president of the people".

Zuma, who was forced out of office in February, however denies any wrongdoing. He later emerged from the courthouse in the coastal city of Durban to address a large crowd of supporters, many sporting regalia of the ruling African National Congress party.

He told the crowd that he was the victim of a political vendetta and that he has campaigned for the economic rights of South Africa's black majority since the end of apartheid in 1994.

Party spokesperson Pule Mabe says those members acted in their personal capacity.

"Our country's Constitution states that the accused is innocent until proven guilty", he said.

He questioned why he was being targeted over the arms deal when at the time he had been merely a provincial MEC. After his election, his opponents fought a lengthy legal battle to have the charges reinstated, finally succeeding in 2016.

The National Interfaith of South Africa, in partnership with the Commission for Religious Affairs, on Wednesday unveiled activities it had planned ahead of Zuma's court appearance.



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