S.Africa's Zuma appears in court over graft charges

Zuma, 75, smiled broadly and gave a thumbs-up as he walked into the Durban High Court building to take his seat in the dock just seven weeks after he was forced to resign from office.

S.Africa's Zuma appears in court over graft charges

World Bulletin / News Desk

South African former president Jacob Zuma appeared in court Friday on corruption charges over a multi-billion dollar 1990s arms deal, with the judge adjourning the case after a 15-minute hearing.

"This matter is adjourned until June 8," judge Themba Sishi said after being addressed by lawyers from both sides who confirmed that Zuma would appeal against the decision to prosecute him.

Several hundred vocal Zuma supporters rallied outside to protest against his prosecution, which could see him sent to jail if he is found guilty on 16 charges of corruption, money laundering and fraud.

"He might have made his own mistakes, but we say allow the old man to retire in peace. It is a conspiracy, it's politically motivated," pro-Zuma business manager Sphelele Ngwane, 29, told AFP.

On Thursday night more than 100 ardent backers rallied in Albert park in a gritty suburb of Durban to protest his innocence and demand a halt to the prosecution.

"There is an unfairness in the judiciary," warned bishop Timothy Ngcobo, one of the organisers of Thursday's gathering.

The protesters sang liberation-era songs including "Umshini Wam", meaning "Bring me my machine gun", which Zuma often sang at ANC rallies and gatherings.

Last Mod: 06 Nisan 2018, 11:49
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