Jacob Zuma’s supporters gather to march to court
Zuma makes his second appearance, in the High Court in Durban, on 16 charges of fraud, corruption and racketeering
ANC North West chairman Supra Mahumapelo is among those at the High Court in Durban supporting former president Jacob Zuma as he makes his second appearance on graft charges.
Mahumapelo resigned as North West premier last month after protests calling for his removal in the province turned violent.
The ANC national executive committee has directed its structures not to support those facing corruption charges as the organisation's representatives, but party members can do so in their personal capacity.
Former co-operative governance minister Des van Rooyen, who was removed from the Cabinet by President Cyril Ramaphosa in February, and former SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng were also once again in court to show their support.
Faith Muthambi, a former communications minister under Zuma, and ANC KwaZulu-Natal chairman Sihle Zikalala were also there.
Zuma arrived in court smiling. He waved and greeted those who were in court to support him.
Zuma is facing one charge of racketeering‚ two of corruption‚ one of money laundering and 12 charges of fraud.
He is expected to ask the judge to postpone or withdraw the matter pending an application regarding his legal fees.
In May, three months after Zuma left office, his lawyer Michael Hulley argued his client did not have money to keep fighting his criminal case and had terminated counsel’s brief.
Supporters of Zuma amassed in King Dinuzulu Park on Friday morning, ahead of a march to the court.
A platoon of camouflage-clad MK veterans sang and danced in formation on Friday morning‚ as buses with more supporters slowly arrived.
The former president enjoys backing in KwaZulu-Natal‚ a traditional stronghold for the ANC and his faction of leadership.
Black business forums‚ controversial funeral parlour bosses and religious leaders have all settled in Zuma’s corner‚ lauding his stance on radical economic transformation and the expropriation of land without compensation.
Bishop Timothy Ngcobo of the National Interfaith Council of SA in KwaZulu-Natal said they were there to show the world that they were behind the former president. They regarded him as the "strong voice of radical economic transformation who managed to give our poor children the bread of free education".