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SOUTH AFRICA: Zuma's Brief Fanfare Day In Court

By Published April 06, 2018

From memorabilia to dressed-up supporters, the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban was greeted with fanfare Friday morning with a brief appearance of former South Africa President Jacob Zuma to answer to corruption charges related to a 1990s arms deal.

As early as 08:00, more than 300 supporters had gathered at King Dinizulu Park to join the march organised by the National Interfaith Council of South Africa in support of Zuma.

The case was then postponed to June 8 following Zuma’s brief appearance in the Durban High Court.

"This matter is adjourned to the 8th of June, 2018, which is a provisional date and the two accused before court, having been summoned to appear before this court, are released on warning," Judge Themba Sishi said.

Earlier, senior State prosecutor Billy Downer told the court the reason for the adjournment was "twofold" - Zuma initially wanted to bring a review application with the hoped of finalising the review papers by May 15. Zuma may also apply for a stay of prosecution, said Downer.

Accused number two, arms manufacturer Thales South Africa also intended to make representations to the National Director of Public Prosecutions on why it should not be prosecuted.

Zuma looked relaxed when he walked in, but his face tensed as the proceedings started.

 

                                                                Zuma Lonely in the dock

 

He waved at packed public gallery, which included Des van Rooyen and Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

Lawyers for the State and Zuma's lawyers agreed to request the postponement of court proceedings to June 8.

After the hearing, Mr Zuma addressed the crowds, who had come to stand alongside him at the court in his home province.

"Some people are acting like I have been convicted, I am innocent until proven guilty," he told his supporters who deliberately were instructed not to wear ANC colours, but many wore wraps and T-shirts with the former president's image.

Some carried placards saying “hands off Zuma” and performed the high-stepping toyi-toyi protest dance made popular in South Africa’s decades-long struggle against apartheid. .

Zuma later led them in song and dance.

Read 23 times Last modified on Friday, 06 April 2018 10:22