South Africa's ex-President Jacob Zuma charged with corruption

Former President Jacob Zuma visit the Soweto home of the late Winnie Madikizela Mandela on 4 April 2018

Seven major scandals involving South Africa's ex-president Zuma

The case at the Durban courthouse was adjourned until June 8 on the agreement of both parties to enable Zuma's defense team to prepare their documents for the challenge.

Jacob Zuma was defiant yesterday as he appeared in court to face corruption charges which have dogged his scandal-ridden nine years in power.

Mr Zuma is accused of taking bribes connected with a $2.5 billion arms deal with Thales, the French defence company, in the 1990s.

Zuma, surrounded by a large entourage, left the courtroom to address his supporters, telling them that the charges were "politically motivated".

He also talked about the struggle of Back people worldwide and said that he had been targeted because he championed their economic empowerment.

JACOB Zuma supporters have started their walk from King Dinizulu park to the Durban High Court. Zuma is facing 16 charges of corruption, fraud and racketeering.

Last year, the supreme court of appeal in Pretoria, South Africa's highest court, declared that the decision to set aside the corruption charges was irrational.

However, the opponents of the ex-South African leader think that the court trial is long overdue.

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But numerous Zuma loyalists openly defied the order, waving ANC flags and wearing ANC shirts as they rallied enthusiastically for the former president who was forced to resign in February. Zuma told the cheering crowd.

"I have never seen it before where someone is charged with a crime, those charges are dropped and then 13 years later those same charges are re-instated".

In a meeting of the wounded, Zuma's political allies from various ANC structures packed the small venue.

The Zuma of old is still here - the crowd pleaser, the charmer and tactical politician.

The ruling party leadership had instructed him to resign in February after a leadership crisis that destabilised the ANC, which was already weakened by other scandals during his presidency.

One of the organisers told me: "Jacob Zuma is a member of the ANC, it can't be that we are told that we can't support him as the ANC".

The appeal is likely to prolong his epic legal battle to head off the charges and avoid a trial could send him to jail. But days later, the High Court in Pretoria rules that the 2009 decision to drop the charges was "irrational" and that charges must be reinstated. At a recent church appearance, Zuma said: "People are free, but I am not".

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