Sci-tech

Zuma's corruption case adjourned until June

Zuma's corruption case adjourned until June

"This matter is adjourned to 8th June 2018 which is a provisional date and the two accused before court are released on warning", said Judge Themba Sishi.

His financial adviser, Schabir Shaikh, was found guilty of trying to solicit bribes on his behalf from a French arms firm and was jailed in 2005.

Charges against Zuma relating to the arms deal were filed but then set aside by the NPA shortly before he successfully ran for president in 2009.

Heavily armed police in riot gear lined the square outside the court, as thousands of Mr Zuma supporters gathered to express solidarity with a leader they say is the victim of a politically motivated witch hunt.

"What we are saying, what the former president is saying, is true - we don't think we are going to get a fair trial", said a supporter, Bishop Timothy Ngcobo who appeared on stage alongside Zuma.

Zuma, 75, smiled broadly and gave a thumbs-up as he walked into the Durban High Court building to take his seat in the dock just seven weeks after he was forced to resign from office.

Former president of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and the former president of South Korea, Park Geun-hye were both charged with corruption after their time of presidency.

Legal expert Paul Hoffman said Zuma and his legal team would try anything to "duck, dive, delay and defect" the case so that he may never be asked to plead to the charges.

The absence of Zuma's long-time legal eagle Kemp J Kemp caused some raised eyebrows.

In the courtroom, supporters chanted Zuma's name, while outside, the crowds sang, "Tell us what he has done wrong" and "Hands off Zuma".

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

Zane Mlaba, a local ANC activist, described party leaders who called on members not to rally around Zuma "traitors".

The decision by ANC to make the way clear for Zuma is contrary to its previous public displays of support and defense of Zuma during the 2006 rape trial and previous attempts to charge him for corruption.

"Radical Economic Transformation agenda is under attack inside the ANC and him being as a symbolic representative of the agenda is being attacked through the judiciary", he said. The charges were re-instated in 2016.

"I would want to believe that as an innocent man, he is definitely not anxious", the domestic News24 agency qouted Edward Zuma as saying.


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