Monday, 23 April, 2018

South Africa's Zuma to appear in court on corruption charges

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
Eleanor Moreno | 08 April, 2018, 01:56

South Africa's former president, Jacob Zuma, appeared in court on Friday to face corruption charges relating to a 2.5 billion United States dollars arms deal.

"This matter is adjourned until June 8", judge Themba Sishi said after being addressed by lawyers from both sides who confirmed that Zuma would appeal against the decision to prosecute him.

The adviser, Schabir Shaikh, was found guilty of trying to solicit the bribes and was jailed in 2005.

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.

Businessman Siya Khoza said he admired Zuma's determination to bring in economic policies that he said were created to spread the wealth in what remains one of the world's most unequal societies.

Zuma, who was ousted as Head of State, attended a brief preliminary hearing at the high court in Durban.

Zuma also pointed out that 13 years had passed since he last appeared in court for the same charges and blamed opposition parties for the case's return to court.

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

Zuma, whose presidency has been marked with scandals, says he have not done such a thing wrong.


"I have never seen it before where someone is charged with a crime, those charges are dropped and then 13 years later those same charges are re-instated".

"Some people are acting like I have been convicted, I am innocent until proven guilty", he was quoted by Reuters news agency.

A few Zuma fans gathered close to the courthouse at the coastal town of Durban on Friday to declare that the former boss is not liable.

The Zuma of old is still here - the crowd pleaser, the charmer and tactical politician.

Zuma had the support of senior African National Congress leaders in the province as well as former Cabinet ministers.

AFP/Getty Images Jacob Zuma gestures to his supporters as he appears at the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban.

The charges were reinstated in 2016 as his grip on the ANC weakened.

On the defendant's bench in the courtroom, Mr. Zuma politely greeted Christine Guerrier, a vice-president of Thales, who was delegated to represent the co-accused company.

"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.

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