ANC military veterans back Zuma against 'political manipulation'
A strong police contingent was deployed to the Durban High Court on Friday morning ahead of the second appearance of former president Jacob Zuma.
The court was barricaded as journalists jockeyed for prime positions outside the security perimeter where Zuma is appearing on 16 charges that include fraud‚ corruption and racketeering. These charges relate to 783 payments he allegedly received as a bribe to protect French arms company Thint from an investigation into the controversial multi-billion-rand arms deal. The alleged bribe was facilitated by Zuma’s former financial adviser‚ Schabir Shaik.
Outside the court‚ Carl Niehaus‚ representing the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association‚ told TimesLIVE that the organisation had taken a decision to support the former president‚ who was a former member and commander of the MK.
"I think it is unfortunate that we have to keep coming back to these court appearances for former president Jacob Zuma.
"I had hoped that these matter could have been dealt with differently because as far as MK Vets is concerned‚ there is a very unhealthy dollop of political involvement and these charges over years have seen political involvement and manipulation‚" he said. "So we are concerned whether it will be possible for Zuma to receive a free and fair trial‚ but we don’t cast aspersions on the judiciary."
Former president Jacob Zuma returned to the Durban High Court on June 8 2018. Zuma is currently facing 16 counts, which include fraud‚ corruption and racketeering.