South Africa’s former president Jacob Zuma has appealed to the High Court in Pietermaritzburg, asking it to halt corruption proceedings against him, on the basis of political interference and pre-trial irregularities.
Zuma is facing 16 charges of fraud, corruption, racketeering and money-laundering related to the controversial multi-billion rand arms deal concluded in the late 1990s.
The 77-year-old politician has repeatedly denied allegations of corruption.
Zuma’s lawyers on Monday argued that their client has been treated unfairly, and with bias from the National Prosecuting Authority (NAP) and the South African public.
They argue that former head of South Africa’s Directorate of Special Operations (DSO), Leonard McCarthy ‘overzealously’ pursued the investigation of Zuma’s involvement in the arms deal.
In addition, Zuma’s lawyers say the former NPA head Bulelani Ngcuka biased the public when he said that he had ‘a prima facie case against Zuma, but he would not prosecute’.
The lawyers say these actions by members of the NPA prove that Zuma is being dealt with unfairly and with bias.
“Mr Ngcuka’s decisions, were politicial decisions.”
Zuma who was president of South Africa from 2009 to 2018, still enjoys support from several sections of South African society, including political parties like the Black Land First Movement.
BLF shall be in court on 20th of May to stand with
PresJGZuma. We shall continue to defend black people who come under attack from land thieves & white monopoly capital by any means necessary.
The process of setting up the Private Litigation Unit is also at an advanced stage. pic.twitter.com/vLIM8A3Wi5
— Black First Land First (BLF) (BLF_SouthAfrica) May 20, 2019
His supporters in the KwaZulu-Natal province marched to the court, and he is expected to address them after his court appearance.