After many years of claiming to want nothing more than to have his day in court, former president Jacob Zuma’s wish has come true, the big day has finally arrived.
Zuma is expected to appear in the Durban High Court later on Friday morning.
Briefly.co.za takes a look at 10 facts all South Africans should know about the State vs Jacob Zuma.
1. The Democratic Alliance (DA) spent nine years fighting for Zuma to be charged in connection with the controversial arms deal and the so-called ‘spy-tapes’ saga. The DA says it has spent over R10 million to get the matter to trial.
2. One popular misconception among the broader public is that Zuma was facing 783 charges of corruption, the truth is the number 783 stems from the number of payments he received from Schabir Shaik.
3. Zuma is facing 16 charges in this matter, his co-accused arms manufacturer Thint is facing two charges which makes for a total of 18 charges in this indictment.
4. The original charges against Zuma were withdrawn in the Durban High Court on 7 April 2009, this was shortly before Zuma was inaugurated for his first term as president of the country.
5. NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe decided not to prosecute Zuma in April 2009, Mpshe said leaked transcripts of a conversation between hen Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy and former NPA boss Bulelani Ngcuka showed political interference to prosecute Zuma.
6. In a stunning about-turn, Zuma’s advocate Kemp J Kemp, admitted during hearings at the Supreme Court of Appeals that the NPA had acted irrationally when it decided to drop charges against Zuma in 2009.
7. In March, embattled NPA boss Shaun Abrahams announced that the NPA would reinstate charges against Zuma, this after Zuma failed to convince the NPA of why he should not be charged. Zuma would be prosecuted for one count of racketeering, two counts of corruption, one count of money laundering and 12 counts of fraud.
8. The State has a list of 207 witnesses against Zuma, although Schabir Shaik said he would testify in the case, his name was not on the witness list.
9. A group of political, religious and business leaders have called on South Africans to support their former president when he appears in court, the group held a night vigil in Durban on Thursday night.
10. Court proceedings are expected to start at 09:30 on Friday morning, Zuma is expected to only appear briefly as his legal team is likely to ask for a postponement.
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