Citizen Reporter
Reporter
2 minute read
16 Oct 2019
9:46 am

My corruption trial is ‘victimisation’ because I’m black – Zuma

Citizen Reporter

Former MEC Bonginkosi Radebe also addressed the crowd, lashing out at those who had stopped showing their support for the former president.

South Africa's embattled former president Jacob Zuma's supporters gather at the Pietermaritzburg High Court where he is appearing on corruption charges, in what would be the first time he faces trial for graft despite multiple accusations, in Pietermaritzburg on October 15, 2019. Picture: Michele Spatari / AFP

Speaking to supporters outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday, President Jacob Zuma said he believed he was being tried for fraud, corruption, money laundering, and racketeering due to “victimisation” because of his race.

“As a black person, you will face victimisation until you die, you will also encounter traitors,” he said.

Zuma led the crowd in song, with his signature tune, Umshini wam’, as well as struggle anthem Senzeni Na (What have we done?) among his selection.

The former president also thanked those who attended.

Former KwaZulu-Natal MEC and Zuma supporter Bonginkosi Meshack Radebe also spoke, lashing out at those who have stopped showing their support for Zuma. There have been reports that the amount of people who have been showing up at court has dwindled.

READ MORE: Zuma to appeal ruling forcing him to face corruption charges

Pre-trial proceedings were postponed to February 4, 2020, during a short court appearance on Tuesday, following Zuma’s lawyer Thabani Masuku indicating that the former president would be appealing last week’s dismissal of his application for stay of prosecution, which would have effectively prevented him from being tried.

The case dates back to the controversial arms deal during Nelson Mandela’s presidency in the 1990s, and subsequently from charges which were first laid in 2005, following his former financial adviser Schabir Shaik being found guilty of fraud and corruption and sentenced to 15 years behind bars.

The charges relate to the purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats and military equipment arms deal when Zuma was deputy president to Thabo Mbeki, and also involve French arms company Thales.

Zuma is accused of taking bribes worth R4 million from the R51-billion arms deal.

Thales, accused of paying the bribes, is also meant to stand trial, and like Zuma, has denied the charges.

(Compiled by Daniel Friedman.) 

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.