Carl Niehaus expresses ‘great regret’ he won’t be supporting Zuma in court for the first time

The MK Military Veteran's Association will still be out in full force, alongside other supporters of the former president who believe he is facing an 'unjust ordeal'.

Former president Jacob Zuma will be back at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on charges of fraud, money laundering, racketeering, and corruption dating back to the controversial arms deal in 1999.

Bishop Vusi Dube has already been seen in a News24 video clip saying that supporters of the former president will be out in full force. One prominent supporter, however, will be missing in action – former ANC spokesperson Carl Niehaus took to Twitter to express “great regret” that he would be missing the court appearance, adding that it would be the first one he would be missing since the trial began.

After an initial tweet pledging his support, because “one soldier does not leave another behind on the battlefield,” Niehaus explained that he would not, in fact, be there in person.

“To my great regret, for personal reasons, I am unable to attend [Zuma’s] court appearance today. It is the 1st time since he started to go through this unjust ordeal that I can’t attend. In my heart, I am there. I have explained to Nxamalala my absence [and] pledged my support,” he said.

READ MORE: Zuma must pay costs as he fails in his bid to avoid facing corruption charges

Niehaus, however, added in another tweet that the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKVA), of which he is the spokesperson, would still be out in force in support of Zuma. He posted a video of men in military fatigues toyi toying outside the court.

Other loyal Zuma supporters such as deregistered party Black First Land First (BLF) are also expected to show up and demonstrate their support for Zuma.

Zuma’s appearance on Tuesday follows the dismissal of his application for stay of prosecution with costs. If successful, this application would have effectively made him immune to the charges.

It is unclear whether or not he will be appealing the stay of prosecution ruling.

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