Former president Jacob Zuma received a hero’s welcome by supporters as he left the Pietermaritzburg High Court where his corruption trial continued and judgment was reserved.
On a stage outside the court, supporters, ANC MP Mosebenzi Zwane, Des Van Rooyen, and ANC Youth League chairperson Kwazi Mshengu were all awaiting a detailed report from the former president.
Zuma and French arms company Thales are appealing for a permanent stay of prosecution for a number of charges which range from racketeering and money laundering to fraud.
Zuma’s defence, advocate Muzi Sikhakhane, has argued that new evidence in the form of a letter should be allowed as the evidence points to political interference. This comes despite the National Prosecuting Authority denying there was any interference.
Zwane, speaking before Zuma took to the stage, said people had to be treated equally by law.
Updating supporters, Zuma said his corruption case could not continue as his rights were clearly violated.
According to Zuma, those who want his case to go to trial will regret it, just like those who called for the inquiry into state capture. He said former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi implicated everyone else and provided paperwork substantiating those claims except for when it came to Zuma.
“He [Agrizzi] would table claims and provide evidence,” but only speculated when it came to Zuma, he said.
He went on to address claims that he had run out of money for legal fees. He accused his detractors of ganging up on him by not allowing him to have adequate representation.
“I have to sell hats, socks to pay for legal fees,” he maintained. He said he was not scared and detailed his initial agreement with former president Thabo Mbeki for government to pay for his legal fees, which the court had judged to be unlawful and ruled against, as a clear indication that he was being victimised.
Zuma declared the courts should rule without fear or favour and table all evidence as opposed to selectively picking which information was important and which was not.
On Thursday the court heard from Zuma’s defence that he could not afford to finance his corruption trial.