Former president Jacob Zuma says the charges against him are a continuation of what he calls a political conspiracy against him. He was addressing his supporters outside the High Court in Durban after his brief appearance on Friday.
Zuma’s case will be heard on June 8th. This after both the prosecution and the defence teams requested more time in order to allow Zuma’s legal team to bring a review application against the NPA’s decision to reinstate the charges against him. Zuma’s legal team will lodge the application on May the 15th.
Zuma is facing 16 counts of fraud, money laundering and racketeering related to the multi-billion-rand arms deal.
DA leader, Mmusi Maimane, says it will be in the best interest of all South Africans for Zuma to personally pay for his legal fees.
Maimane says the DA will continue to keep a close eye on the court proceedings to ensure that justice is served.
“First of all I think it was significant that he came to court and set on the dock, telling the people of South Africa that anybody is held accountable. Secondly we hope as we have said that the NPA will prioritise this case so that we resolve the matter. Thirdly we’ve gone to court to fight that Mr Zuma fees should not be payed by the people of South Africa…he must pay them in his personal costs. He can’t appear in curt on the money of the people, ” he said.
UDM leader, Bantu Holomisa has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to clarify whether any taxpayers cash was used by the KwaZulu-Natal government when it came out in support of former president Jacob Zuma at court in Durban.
Holomisa has expressed concern over the support received by the former president from the KwaZulu Natal provincial government.
KZN Premier Willis Mchunu, MEC’s Sihle Zikalala, Weziwe Thusi, and Mthandeni Dlungwana as well as Ethekwini Executive Mayor Zandile Gumede were amongst officials who attended the court appearance.
Holomisa wants an official investigation into whether KwaZulu-Natal is a federal state.
“But of concerned to me is the appearance of the premier and entire cabinet to this case and one wonders how much did KwaZulu-Natal government pay to bus those people who were in attendance – clearly Cyril Ramaphosa the president of the republic needs to clarify exactly as to whether KZN is a federal state or what.”
The PAC says Zuma’s court appearance signals a new page for the country. Secretary General, Bennet Joko says Zuma must use this opportunity to prove his innocence as he always said he wants his day in court. He says South Africans must not be fooled by the support he is receiving in and around KwaZulu-Natal – because the law will make its own findings on the case which might just see the former president being found guilty.
The PAC’s Bennet Joko says they have not forgotten about the multi-billion Rand arms deal saga.
“The PAC hopes that Mr Zuma will embrace the opportunity given to him and state his case in the court of law. And that the courts will also pronounce that this arms deal was a misplaced priority. Where African people are landless, ravaged by porverty – and the priority was given to buy arms – where there seems to be no security threat in the country. ”