JOHANNESBURG, June 8 – Former president Jacob Zuma has threatened to expose corrupt politicians who kept using his name to gain political influence and said they should stop making him an agenda during their meetings.
“They keep saying I’m corrupt but cannot say what I did. They should not provoke me, I might talk about what I know about them. I need to repeat this because I’m tired of being nice,” Zuma said as he addressed a large crowd of his supporters outside the Durban High Court on Friday after making a brief appearance on charges of fraud and corruption.
Zuma is accused number one in a case that relates to the multi-billion rand arms deal dating back to 1999. He is facing one count of racketeering, two counts of corruption, one count of money laundering and 12 counts of fraud.
Thales is accused number two and is facing one count of racketeering, two counts of corruption and one count of money laundering.
The matter was postponed to July 27 and outside court afterwards Zuma said he is being targeted even during his pension.
“People will just accuse me of things I didn’t do. I’m now on pension but I would just be sitting watching TV and I see a man talking about me … maybe it’s because my surname is easy to pronounce,” Zuma told his supporters.
He reiterated that he is not scared of anything and will be present in court like he was in 2005 and 2006.Zuma acknowledged support from former North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo and former Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen.
The former head of State was also supported by former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng, Black First Land First leader Andile Mngxitama, former communications minister Faith Muthambi and Carl Niehaus of the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association amongst others.
Earlier in court, veteran State advocate Billy Downer said that the State was ready to proceed with the fraud and corruption case against Zuma, but that the defence needed to “get its house in order”.
“The state is ready, the defence is not ready,” said Downer, as Zuma and co-accused Thales – represented by Christine Guerrier – made their second appearance at the Durban High Court.
The State was ready to go to trial, Downer said, and November 12 was still available as a potential trial date. He said the parties agreed to postpone proceedings to a holding date of July 27 for the next appearance. The matter would be moved to the Pietermaritzburg High Court.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has alleged there was an illegal “common purpose” relationship between Zuma, his convicted financial advisor Shabir Shaik and Thales South Africa (Pty) Ltd to pay and accept bribes for “political protection”.
Zuma held several high-ranking offices in the provincial and national executive and in the ANC at the times of the alleged bribes. But he has been consistent in maintaining his innocence, while also stating that he wants to clear his name in court.
Supporters claim he is being “persecuted” because he is and was pro-poor during his almost 10-year presidential term and took a stand against a western capitalist agenda.
– African News Agency (ANA)