Zuma’s friends vow to pay for his corruption trial


Durban – Business friends of former president Jacob Zuma say they will foot his legal bill should he be unable to afford fees to fight his corruption charges.

Zuma will on Friday make his second appearance in the Durban High Court regarding his arms deal corruption ­charges.

It has been reported that the former statesman was struggling to pay his legal fees.

National Funeral Practitioners Association of South Africa (Nafupa SA) secretary Nkosenhle Shezi said the forum would make means to finance Zuma if he declared that he had financial problems. “Since we love him, if we were to find out that he has financial problems, we would try our best to assist him. But right now he has not approached us for any kind of support,” said Shezi.

President Cyril Ramaphosa early this year promised that the state would pay for Zuma’s legal costs, since the alleged crimes were committed while he was working for the state.

The DA in March approached court demanding that Zuma refund the state R15.3million he had spent in attempting to prevent the charges from ­being reinstated.

When Zuma appeared in court in April, scores of his supporters held a night vigil and marched to the court to support him dressed in ANC regalia, although the national leadership had instructed them not to associate party structures and colours with the case.

“The night vigil would be between 6pm on Thursday and 6am on Friday, and on Friday morning we will march from King Dinuzulu Park to the high court,” Shezi said.

ANC Youth League provincial spokesperson Mandla Shange said the league would this week outline its programme for supporting Zuma.

“People will not be prevented from wearing party regalia if they go to court to support whoever they support,” said Shange.

ANC provincial task team co-ordinator Sihle Zikalala said people would go to court as individuals to support Zuma.

Bishop Vusi Dube, who leads Zuma’s religious support group, told the former president in Nkandla late last week that during the night vigil they would pray for him. “We are telling you to be strong, as there are comrades who are targeted instead of white people who stole our land,” said Dube.

Meanwhile, ANC factions in KwaZulu-Natal were facing pressure to reach a compromise, which will see some powerful leaders being left out of the unity slate top five to be elected during the provincial conference at the University of Zululand in Richards Bay, northern KZN.

Party activists said Sihle Zikalala should not be contested to retain the provincial chairperson’s position, and his rival, Mike Mabuyakhulu, should be elected deputy chairperson.

Former provincial spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli is preferred as the provincial secretary.

“Either Sthembiso Mshengu or Nhlakanipho Ntombela (who both belong to the aggrieved faction) will be elected deputy secretary, and Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha or Nomusa Dube-Ncube will be provincial treasurer,” said a well-known ANC activist.

Compromise

“Super Zuma (former provincial secretary) and his former deputy, Mluleki Ndobe, do not feature on the unity slate,” said a source.

Another ANC leader said the compromise was adopted when national executive committee members met regional and provincial leaders in Durban on Thursday.

“Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma had tears in her eyes as she made a passionate call for unity. She said while we were fighting, the IFP was winning by-elections in the province.

“She reminded us that we are not enemies, but comrades who belong to the ANC,” said another source.

Zikalala said comrades should be in discussions to form unity.

“We encourage unity discussions because unity is quite important for the ANC.

“Branches are discussing who should hold which position, but there should be discussions and reach agreements for the sake of uniting the party,” said Zikalala.

Super Zuma said he was not aware of the unity slate that would sideline him.

The ANC’s eThekwini Region said it hoped the conference would be a success for the sake of implementing party programmes.

“There are many people who have a reason to pin their hopes on the positive outcomes of this conference,” said regional secretary Bheki Ntuli. “Critically, the leadership to be elected will have a responsibility to ensure that the ANC registers a resounding victory in the 2019 general elections.”

However, the SACP yesterday vowed it would defeat Zuma, accusing him of being at the centre of a campaign to weaken the ANC.

The party, which held its central committee meeting over the weekend, said the ANC-led alliance’s immediate priority was to roll back and dismantle networks of parasitic looting of public resources that flourished under “Zuma’s patronage”.

SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande said the attempts to resist the drive against corruption and state capture should not be underestimated, adding that they were linked to Zuma.

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