Published: Sun, April 08, 2018
Sci-tech | By Bennie Mills

Corruption case: 'I am innocent' - South Africa's Zuma tells cheering crowd

Corruption case: 'I am innocent' - South Africa's Zuma tells cheering crowd

Judge Themba Sishi told Mr Zuma to come back to court on 8 June.

He faces 16 counts of corruption, racketeering, fraud and money laundering, which dogged his presidency and were reinstated in 2016. His financial adviser at the time was found guilty of soliciting those bribes in 2005 and Zuma was later sacked as deputy president.

Former president Jacob Zuma has once again claimed that the corruption charges against him are politically motivated.

Wearing a dark suit, a smiling Zuma waved to crowds of supporters and reporters as he climbed the steps of the High Court in Durban shortly before 0700 GMT. Zuma has been linked to a 1990s arms deal.

At that point the charges seemed likely to crush Zuma's ambition to be president.

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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.

There is a strong police presence following the marchers along their route to the High Court where they will congregate and await Zuma's arrival.

Zuma said the sex with the 31-year-old family friend was consensual and he was acquitted.

One sign of this was defiance of the request by the ANC for none of its members to wear ANC colours if they chose to come and support Mr Zuma.

A few Zuma fans gathered close to the courthouse at the coastal town of Durban on Friday to declare that the former boss is not liable.

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A young traditional dancer in full warrior costume and clutching a shield took to the stage following Zuma to entertain the crowd after he addressed them in his native Zulu language. He resigned February 14 on the orders of his party, the African National Congress.

Black First Land First (BLF), a radical pro-Zuma group that has supported him through numerous scandals, said it expected 200 bus-loads of supporters to travel to the court ahead of his arrival.

Ramaphosa has said that, according to a long-standing agreement between party leaders and Zuma, who will turn 76 next week, the state will pay for his legal fees because the case relates to actions taken when he was in government.

"Some people are acting like I have been convicted, I am innocent until proven guilty", he said.He then led them in song and dance.

The message resonates among many people who resent the fact that much of the economy remains in the hands of the white minority despite the advent of democracy.

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The administration will solicit written comments on the proposed tariff targets through May 11 and hold a hearing on May 15. Companies and consumers will have the opportunity to lobby to have some products taken off the list or have others added.

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