Former president Zuma to appear in court on corruption charges


Judge Themba Sishi told Mr Zuma to come back to court on 8 June.

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.

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

Mngxitama said that Zuma is the representation of RET and therefore needs to be defended.

Speaking to hundreds of supporters outside the High Court in Durban, Zuma also took a swipe at those whom he said he trusted but did now not support him.

A woman representing French arms manufacturer Thales was also in the Durban courthouse on Friday, as the company faces corruption charges too.

It can be recalled that the last time Zuma was in court for a trial was more than 10 years ago on rape charges.

The former president's supporters have reportedly descended on the city to rally for him.

"I keep asking what has Zuma done and no-one has an answer for me", he told the crowds.

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"I am innocent until proven guilty".

Today, in a defiant appearance outside the court, he continued to deny the allegations.

As he made his way, his supporters in the public gallery chanted: "Zuma!"

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

Many supporters flocked to the site, dressed in the ANC colours of green, gold and black.

The ruling party leadership had instructed him to resign in February after a leadership crisis that destabilised the ANC, which was already weakened by other scandals during his presidency.

He was replaced by Cyril Ramaphosa after nine years in power.

One of the march organisers, Bishop Bheki Ngcobo of the National Interfaith Council of South Africa, said he was behind Zuma because he supported radical economic transformation (RET).

Ramaphosa has said that, according to a long-standing agreement between party leaders and Zuma, who will turn 76 next week, the state will pay for his legal fees because the case relates to actions taken when he was in government. But the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, challenged the decision to set aside the charges, and in 2016, it was judged "irrational" by the High Court - a ruling that the Supreme Court upheld a year ago.