POLITICS
02/04/2018 20:02 SAST | Updated 03/04/2018 07:33 SAST

Jacob Zuma Court Battle To Start This Week

Zuma is facing 16 charges on 783 counts of fraud, corruption, racketeering and money laundering.

Sumaya Hisham / Reuters
President Jacob Zuma gestures as he addresses Parliament in Cape Town. November 2, 2017.

This coming Friday, Jacob Zuma will have to face the music as he heads to the High Court in Durban for his first appearance.

The former president will has been charged with fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering, relating to bribes allegedly paid to him by Schabir Shaik, a friend and associate, in relation to the controversial arms deal.

Last week eNCA's Annika Larsen tweeted what appeared to be a leaked document that contained the names and whereabouts of 207 state witnesses who have been contacted to testify in the Zuma matter.

However, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku would not comment on the veracity of the document, saying it is the institution's policy never to release details of witnesses or suspects before they appear in court.

Read: Five Crucial Witnesses To Look Out For During Zuma Trial

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille was on the list. She is widely acknowledged as the original whistleblower in the arms deal, presenting the infamous "De Lille dossier" that contained allegations of corruption around the deal to Parliament in 1999.

Nora Fakude-Nkuna also features on the list. She and Jacob Zuma were alleged to have a "close" relationship. She kickstarted the Nkandla project for the former president in February 2000.

Another witness is former ANC MP Andrew Feinstein, one of the few people who criticised the governing party's decision not to investigate the arms deal allegations. He resigned in 2001, after the ANC refused to launch an investigation into the matter.

Zuma is facing 16 charges on 783 counts of fraud, corruption, racketeering and money laundering.

His original charge sheet alleged that between 1995 and 2005, Zuma or his family received 783 payments totalling more than R4-million from his former financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, or his companies. It was alleged that Zuma personally met and interceded with Shaik's prospective business partners, most notably Thales, to try to secure both their and Shaik's interests in the lucrative arms deal.