Church in South Africa looks to Zuma prosecution with hope

08 April, 2018, 01:57 | Author: Grady King
  • Former President Jacob Zuma visit the Soweto home of the late Winnie Madikizela Mandela on 4 April 2018

The immediate past president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, is appearing in court today, April 6 to face corruption charges related to a 1990s arms deal.

Last month, prosecutions chief Shaun Abrahams - dubbed "Shaun the Sheep" for his loyalty to Zuma during his presidency - ordered that he be charged with fraud, corruption and money laundering. It came after his financial adviser Schabir Shaik was found guilty of fraud and corruption in relation to the arms deal and alleged corrupt dealing with Zuma in 2005.

He insists the charges are trumped up and politically motivated. Zuma may also apply for a stay of prosecution, said Downer.

Wearing a dark suit, a smiling Zuma waved to crowds of supporters and reporters as he climbed the steps of the High Court in Durban shortly before 0700 GMT.

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But numerous Zuma loyalists openly defied the order, waving ANC flags and wearing ANC shirts as they rallied enthusiastically for the former president who was forced to resign in February. Prosecutors re-filed the charges after Jacob Zuma was forced from power by his own party in February.

It seems Jacob Zuma's legal woes keep mounting.

"I have never seen it before where someone is charged with a crime, those charges are dropped and then years later those same charges are re-instated".

Speaking to his supporters outside the court on Friday, Zuma claimed his opponents were telling lies, adding that the judiciary and politicians believe he does not have rights.

The former South African president gave the thumbs up during the 90-minute court appearance to supporters who were waving and smiling at him throughout. It argues Mr Zuma was unceremoniously removed from his position as party leader and president to protect white business interests.

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The dispute over the fees represents a larger problem for the governing party, the African National Congress, or ANC, which must determine how strongly to back Zuma during his corruption trial.

"Hands off Zuma", they chanted.

Zuma's successor as president Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed to crack down on government corruption, which he has admitted is a serious problem.

"They want to shut my mouth", he said, calling for radical economic transformation and the return of land from white people to black South Africans.

His trial is likely to be a lengthy one, with a battle brewing over whether the state should keep paying Mr Zuma's legal bills.

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