Massive stage and hundreds of singing and dancing supporters at Zuma trial

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The crowd outside the court.
The crowd outside the court.
Deaan Vivier
  • A large crowd of supporters for former president Jacob Zuma gathered outside the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday.
  • Last week, only a small group of people gathered.
  • On Wednesday, Zuma loyalists erected a big stage to accommodate at least 500 supporters.

There was singing, dancing and general jubilation from supporters of former president Jacob Zuma outside the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday.

Zuma has applied to have senior State advocate Billy Downer recused from the longstanding corruption matter against him.

LIVE | Zuma wants prosecutor Downer removed, argues political interference in corruption investigation

A stage, where many supporters gathered, was set up on Tuesday in anticipation of the number of followers who would support him.

From around 07:00, groups of supporters were chanting Zuma's name. They claimed that he had been treated unfairly.

Many donned black T-shirts and ANC regalia that sported Zuma's face.

At Zuma's court appearance last week, there was lacklustre support - something that irked many of his loyalists.

ALSO READ | Ace Magashule could face more charges for 'unbecoming' behaviour

But, KwaZulu-Natal coordinator for Zuma supporters, Bishop Vusi Dube, told News24 that this week was different because they were aiming to stick to Covid-19 protocols and were accommodating 500 people.

"We are bringing in a bigger crowd today, but also we are trying to monitor that our crowd does not balloon to a point where we cannot control it. One of the reasons for that is because we got an instruction from Msholozi himself to make sure that this march is going to be peaceful."

He said they also wanted to ensure there was no disrespect for certain ANC leaders. Last week, Premier Sihle Zikalala and ANC KZN provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli were booed.

"When we get into the field, we will make sure there is no booing or anything un-ANC. That is the order that has been given to us today."

zuma, hof, verhoog
The stage erected outside the court in Pietermaritzburg
zuma trial
Hundreds of Jacob Zuma supporters gathered outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court waiting for him to address him after appearing in court.

Dube said they also made contingencies for an increase in support.

"We are preparing for 500 people, according to regulations, but if we have thousands, we are going to spread them throughout the field. This is why we have brought in a lot of sound, so it reaches people, even on the far end.

"We are trying to make sure we will control it in that way. We are going to have a lot of sanitisers and encouraged people to keep their masks on and keep their distance. In KZN the numbers of Covid-19 are escalating so we want to be responsible and make sure our people are safe."

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