- Jacob Zuma is determined to paint himself as a victim and told congregants at a Durban church on Friday that he will continue to be persecuted even though he had resigned
- The former president is due to appear in a Durban court next week, on 6 April to answer to 16 charges relating to 783 payments in connection with the controversial multi-billion rand arms deal
- At the Good Friday church service he attended he asked that people pray to that God’ soften people’s hearts
Former President Jacob Zuma was back in his home province for the Easter weekend. He attended a Good Friday service at the eThekwini Community Church in KwaZulu-Natal where he urged those in attendance to lead people in the right direction.
Briefly.co.za reported last week that he was due to face charges relating to corruption, a decision celebrated by opposition parties.
Zuma, who has always claimed he wanted his opportunity to clear his name in court, seems to see the charges being brought against him as a personal attack. "I'm saying to you as Christians to not forget to lead us in the right direction lead us toward God," he said speaking in a televised service.
He claimed that despite his resignation, he was still being persecuted unfairly. "Even now I have left, I'm not bothering anyone. But they are still after me," Zuma said, adding “beg God for us to soften people's hearts. So that we don't get to a place that's not good".
His comments are thought to be with regard to the fact that he will be facing charges at a KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban next week Friday, April 6.
Zuma's lawyer, Michael Hulley, confirmed this week that his client had received a summons to appear in court. The 16 charges he is called to appear on relate to 783 payments he allegedly received in connection with a controversial multi-billion rand arms deal.
The charges were previously dropped by former head of public prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe based on information in what was referred to as the "spy tapes" audio transcripts.
The transcripts allegedly record telephone conversations between Leonard McCarthy who at the time led the Scorpions boss and former NPA boss Bulelani Ngcuka. Zuma’s legal team at the time successfully argued that the transcripts indicated political interference in the decision made to prosecute him, leading to the charges being withdrawn shortly before Zuma was sworn in for his first term as president.
However in recent months the supreme court of appeal overturned the decision by the court to withdraw the charges which has led to the prosecution once again being brought into play.
The State has reportedly built a strong case with over 200 witnesses thought to be expected to testify against Zuma. Some of those included in the list of at least 207, include arms deal critics, former SARS employees, auditors, Special Investigative Unit and Financial Intelligence Centre officials, with some claiming the list includes his his former financial adviser, Shabir Shaik, who was himself jailed for corruption.
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