Jacob Zuma well enough to celebrate with supporters and call his trial ‘unfair’
With his trial postponed to November, and a new legal team, the former president says one day he will ‘reveal all about the plot to prosecute him’
Feeling somewhat under the weather, former president Jacob Zuma was still well enough to celebrate with hundreds of supporters who had gathered in Freedom Square‚ which flanks the Pietermaritzburg High Court, where he appeared on Friday on corruption charges.
Zuma told his supporters he was struggling with his voice‚ but he still managed to fire shots at his detractors, making veiled threats that he would one day reveal all about the plot to prosecute him.
Zuma seemed to have been buoyed by his newly appointed lawyers‚ saying his legal team would thwart the latest attempt to charge him. "These lawyers that I have with me now‚ because [former lawyer] Mr Kemp will retire‚ don’t mess around. They are not afraid to go to trial‚ but it would just not be fair if we did."
Zuma faces graft charges relating to alleged malfeasance in the controversial arms deal‚ with charges reinstated almost a decade to the day when they were first brought.
His appearance before Judge Isaac Madondo was brief on Friday‚ with his new legal representatives telling the court they intended to apply for a permanent stay of prosecution.
"This trial is never-ending and it is always there‚" said Zuma. "What we can say is that justice delayed is justice denied." He waded through the day’s proceedings with his supporters‚ once again proffering the narrative that he was being victimised. "It was thrown out of court twice before. They said this case is not firm. It was [the judges] who said it and not me‚" said Zuma.
"I can’t wait to see who the witnesses are that were there when I committed these crimes‚ but the lawyers say it will get thrown out."
The charges Zuma faces relate to 783 payments he allegedly received as a bribe to protect French arms company Thales (formerly known as Thint) from an investigation into the controversial multi-billion-rand arms deal. The alleged bribe was facilitated by Zuma’s former financial adviser‚ Schabir Shaik.
Zuma will appear in court again on November 30.