Former president Jacob Zuma, who appeared in the Durban High Court today on charges of fraud and corruption, said it was questionable that the charges against him had been reinstated, almost a decade after they had been dropped.
Zuma was speaking to a crowd of supporters outside court. His next appearance will be on July 27 in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.
“I’m being charged because I was part of a group of people who were involved in the arms deal […] but all I want to hear in court is how I ended up being part of that deal when I was still at provincial government and the deal was done at the national government,” Zuma said.
The former president added the law should be allowed to take its course because it was the court that states whether one is guilty or not.
Zuma said he had nothing to fear and would allow the legal proceedings to unfold naturally, something he did back in 2005 and 2006.
He said Judge Herbert Msimang had previously said the case against him was not strong and was limping from point A to point B, adding that another judge had said the case had been a political ploy against Zuma. He said that was the reason the charges were eventually dropped.
Zuma said the political ploy had sought to ensure he did not attend the Polokwane conference in 2007 so he would not be elected president of the ANC, a claim he said could be proven in the so-called spy tapes.
He told his supporters that his legal team would be challenging the NPA’s decision to reinstate the charges, questioning why the reasons to withdraw the charges were now being overlooked.
Zuma urged young people to take advantage of free higher education and enrol for courses that were in demand in the economy and job market and would help with the development of the country.
He said without education, expropriated land would not profit beneficiaries.
“Even if we want radical socioeconomic transformation, but if you are not educated, nothing will happen,” Zuma said.
He repeated his warning to his critics, saying that now that he was no longer president, nothing was holding him back from spilling the beans on them.
He dismissed reports that he was part of a plan to establish an ANC breakaway party.
Zuma thanked his supporters, including Des van Rooyen and Supra Mahumapelo, joking that the latter had joined the club of former leaders like him.