WATCH: Song and dance as Zuma whips up support outside court

2018-11-30 17:15
(Screengrab, Mxolisi Mngadi, Twitter, News24)

(Screengrab, Mxolisi Mngadi, Twitter, News24)

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Former president Jacob Zuma was all smiles outside the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Friday as close allies in the ANC and others joined him for his latest court appearance in his corruption trial.

Zuma told the gathered crowd that he still enjoys the support of his close allies in the ANC who occupied top positions during his term as president and many of whom were present on Friday.

Former ministers Des van Rooyen and Faith Muthambi, former SAA CEO Dudu Myeni, uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans' Association's (MKMVA) Carl Niehaus, former Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini and embattled former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo all travelled to Pietermaritzburg to support Zuma.

The former president showed no signs of being burdened as he danced and cheered on stage with members of the MKMVA.

Zuma faces serious charges including one count of racketeering, two counts of corruption, one count of money laundering, and 12 counts of fraud relating to 783 payments he allegedly received in connection with the controversial arms deal.

He filed a 300-page affidavit asking for a permanent stay of prosecution, claiming to be a victim of an orchestrated attempt by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to associate him with corruption.

'I'd die for the ANC'

His arguments will be heard in May 2019.

"We will reveal all next year in terms of how my rights have been violated," he told his supporters in isiZulu.

"We have filed papers for a permanent stay of prosecution. The case must be thrown out of court permanently."

Zuma then declared his loyalty to the ANC and asked supporters not to vote for individuals.

"I'm an ANC member and I'd die for it. I joined the ANC, the ANC never joined me," he said.

"If you won't vote for the ANC because of Zuma, you're punishing the whole ANC."

Some ANC KwaZulu-Natal executive committee members, including secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli, and scores of ANC supporters in the party's regalia were also outside court to support Zuma, who they called "our president".

Rights being 'violated'

The supporters, who were bused to Pietermaritzburg from all over the province, chanted: "Supra, Supra", whenever Mahumapelo's name was mentioned at Freedom Park where Zuma addressed them after his appearance.

Unlike at Zuma's previous court appearances, leaders of organisations that are not in alliance with the ANC did not address the supporters.

Zuma used most of his address to campaign for the ANC for next year's elections, only mentioning his court appearance to his supporters in passing.

Zuma said he and his legal team were now waiting for the National Prosecuting Authority to submit reasons why it wants the case against him to continue.

Zuma said he felt his rights were being "violated" and that he would not enjoy a "free and fair" trial because the case had been dragging on for years.

The proceedings will resume on May 20, 2019.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  pietermaritzburg  |  courts
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