- Die-hard supporters of former president Jacob Zuma claim he is being persecuted.
- They say Zuma should be left to retire in peace.
- One supporter maintains that there's a political plot against Zuma.
Die-hard supporters of corruption accused, former president Jacob Zuma, say he should be allowed to retire in peace and not be disturbed by criminal proceedings.
Zuma appeared in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Monday where his corruption trial, linked to 16 charges relating to 783 payments he allegedly received in connection with the controversial Arms Deal, kicked off.
Speaking to News24, Abby Mhlongo, 47 said she felt the state was wasting resources on Zuma and his case. She said it was pointless spending money on charging an elderly man.
"I don't understand why everyone wants to charge Zuma. He is so old and now we are wasting money running behind him. We need our government to do more for us. We are still poor and we still have nothing. Cyril [Ramaphosa] must give us jobs," she said.
Another supporter Jeptah Madlala, 53, who came off the street when seeing Zuma head to the main stage, called Zuma a hero of the people.
"People do not understand that he means everything to us. We have so much because of him. He has done a lot for us," he said.
Ayanda Buthlezi, 31, a Pietermaritzburg resident said she always comes to Zuma's trials because she feels he is being persecuted.
"There is something about our people that the rest of the country just does not understand. Zuma has made mistakes, but is he also being chased by a lot of people who have their own agenda. Why is he here after he was removed as president?
"There is politics happening and people don't want to say that is true. We must do what is fair, not what the people in power want."
Zuma will return to court on 26 May for the continuation of his corruption trial.