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Former South Africa leader Zuma in court to face corruption charges

07 April, 2018, 14:45 | Author: Christina Hansen
  • Former president Jacob Zuma poses for a selfie with a Simon Hodgson in a Kulula flight

Zuma appeared in court on Friday on corruption, money laundering, and fraud charges of over a multi-billion dollar 1990s arms deal, and following a 15-minute hearing, the Durban High Court judge Themba Sishi adjourned the cause to June 8th.

He also told the cheering crowd that "the truth will come out" and "I am innocent until proven guilty".

His lawyers have said that they will appeal the decision to prosecute him.

Case against Jacob Zuma: He is accused of accepting bribes from French arms firm Thales via his financial adviser at the time.

"Why am I being treated as if I'm guilty?" he said.

At that point the charges seemed likely to crush Zuma's ambition to be president.

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Zuma was flanked by former minister of cooperative and traditional affairs Des van Rooyen and Eastern Cape ANC heavyweight Andile Lungisa as he walked up the steps into the court building.

Even though Jacob Zuma has resigned as president of South Africa and been charged with corruption, he still has loyal supporters.

Just weeks before the 2009 parliamentary election, then head of the National Prosecuting Authority Mokotedi Mpshe abruptly dropped the charges, removing the political barriers for Zuma to become president.

"Whatever happens we will still support Zuma because we believe he brought us radical economic transformation and we still believe that him being in the ANC he will push for it", said Khoza, wearing a waistcoat emblazoned in ANC colors.

Allegations of bribery over the deal dogged the governments of both Zuma and one of his predecessors, Thabo Mbeki.

Zuma is now standing trial in his home province of Kwa-Zulu Natal.

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In a similar way, former ANC MP and arms-deal activist Andrew Feinstein told news agencies that there was good amount of evidence against Zuma and that "should find himself in jail".

The affair has cast a shadow over South African politics ever since.

And on the day of facing charges, members of the Black First Land First (BLF) party are expected to hold a vigil for Zuma outside the court.

It seems Jacob Zuma's legal woes keep mounting.

In 2016, the High Court ruled that Mpshe's decision to drop the charges was irrational and ordered the charges be reinstated. His legal team contends the charges are politically motivated.

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