Wednesday, 25 April, 2018

Jacob Zuma's supporters drown out corruption charges in South African song

Former president Jacob Zuma will on Friday appear in court over 16 charges of fraud corruption and money laundering Former president Jacob Zuma will on Friday appear in court over 16 charges of fraud corruption and money laundering
Elias Hubbard | 07 April, 2018, 14:44

"It is important that members who would prefer to go to court to pledge their own support, do so in their own capacity as individuals", said ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe in a video posted on the party's Facebook page.

"The fact, he continued, that the former state president will now have his day in court to answer before the nation for his decisions while in power will certainly send a well-needed clanging alarm call to many departments and offices of political administration". Zuma will, cynically, mobilise support in KwaZulu-Natal using victimhood as the main argument. He is accused of receiving 783 questionable payments in connection with the deal.

Zuma also says he doesn't understand why he is facing the same charges that were dropped over 10 years ago.

The matter was heard in less than half an hour in the Durban High Court on Friday morning. The case marks a dramatic development on a continent where leaders rarely face their accusers in court.

Zuma has already visibly made inroads, with the KZN premier Willies Mchunu and a number of MECs attending the court appearance.

Up until his Durban court appearance, Zuma's legal team had been successful in doing just that with a series of mostly procedural maneuvers. Last month the party took to the North Gauteng High Court asking it to declare the arrangement between Zuma and the presidency invalid.

Zuma is accused of taking bribes from French arms maker Thales over a military arms contract worth $3.0 billion during his time as a provincial economy minister and then deputy ANC president. And now Mr Abrahams is leading the campaign to have Mr Zuma tried for the arms deal. Since his election, his opponents have fought a lengthy legal battle to have them reinstated.

But criminal advocates such as Mannie Witz, who has defended everyone from gangsters to soccer stars for four decades, said the state would have its work cut out for it. "They can't even debate in parliament‚" he said. It's the prosecutors who should've seen that I have no case, they held a grudge against me. "This is going to be a 15-rounder - this is like a heavyweight competition", he said.

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