Former South African leader Zuma to face corruption charges

Former South African leader Zuma to face corruption charges

Defying ANCSeveral hundred Zuma supporters, some defying a ban by the ANC on wearing party regalia to the court, chanted his name and ululated as he left the chamber in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal.

Speaking in Zulu, the former president told the crowd that he was being prosecuted once again for political reasons.

Zuma said he was being treated like a prisoner, even by the people he trusted and that just because he was charged did not mean he was guilty. People are always trying to tarnish his name.

And that is the sentiment of the supporters here who had composed songs in honour of the former statesman.

Answers to parliamentary questions reveal that the funding of Zuma's battles against his prosecution has so far cost taxpayers at least R32.4-million.

At 9.25am, the first former president of South Africa ever to sit in a courtroom dock entered Court A of the Durban High Court.

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

Advocate Anton Katz SC, who appeared for Thales, said the French company would make representations to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions on the charges it faced.

The proceedings got under way at 09:30 but was over after about 10 minutes.

When Judge Sishi addressed the court, he did so very softly to confirm that the matter was adjourned until 8 June. Zuma was dogged by the claims against him throughout his presidency, before he was finally forced from office two months ago.

Police expect that more than 2,000 protesters could descend on the courthouse to voice support for Zuma, with the main opposition Democratic Alliance planning a counter-demonstration.

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Zuma belted out Umshini Wami before he left the court.

The case against Zuma has been a long time coming.

Photo: Black First Land First leader, Andile Mngxitama outside the Durban High Court on 6 April 2018.

But there is a new man in charge: Cyril Ramaphosa.

Mr Zuma was deputy president at the time.

The ANC announced on Sunday it would not support Mr Zuma during his trial, but it agreed to let party members do so in their personal capacity.

Many say he has survived several controversies and criminal accusations until now because the ANC always came to his aid.

The country's next national elections will be held in 2019.

Mr Ramaphosa came in on a ticket of clean governance and his party can not afford another scandal.

But he will need to play this one carefully.

He alleged that the judiciary and politicians believed that he did not have rights.

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