Jacob Zuma in court says charges are ‘politically motivated’
Durban, April 6, 2018 (AltAfrika)-Jacob Zuma, South Africa‘s former president, has appeared at the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban on Friday to face more than a dozen corruption charges that date back to a fraught $2.5bn arms deal in the mid 1990s.
The former president told the court that graft charges against him were “politically motivated”
“I am innocent till proven guilty, but there are people who want to treat me like I am guilty,” Mr Zuma told cheering supporters outside the Durban High Court after the case was adjourned following a 15-minute preliminary hearing.
At least 2,000 supporters of the former president turned up to the proceedings and protest against the charges levelled at him.
The former president had the support of senior African National Congress KwaZulu-Natal leaders and former cabinet ministers in court.
He was flanked by former minister of cooperative and traditional affairs Des van Rooyen and Eastern Cape ANC heavyweight Andile Lungisa as he walked up the steps into the court building.
Inside Court Room A, former SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng could be seen sitting on a bench near ANC KwaZulu-Natal leader Sihle Zikalala.
Those defending Zuma argue that the courts are compromised and biased against him.
Zuma, 75, faces 16 charges of corruption, racketeering and fraud, including taking bribes from a French arms manufacturer in a set of accusations that have long dogged his political career.
The French manufacturer will also be charged with corruption. Company representatives are expected to appear in court alongside Zuma.
Additional report from news 24 with video