POLITICS
08/06/2018 08:58 SAST | Updated 08/06/2018 09:03 SAST

Jacob Zuma Court Appearance Brings Durban To A Standstill

Among Zuma's supporters in court today are former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng, former finance minister Des van Rooyen and former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo.

Traffic halted to a standstill across many streets surrounding the Durban High Court where former president Jacob Zuma is expected to appear on Friday morning.

The police had cordoned off the road outside the courts, making way for Zuma's convoy, which was at least eight cars strong.

Hundreds of supporters who had gathered at Albert Park for a night vigil in prayer for Zuma were expected to make their way to the court before its proceedings began; but by 8.30am, the crowd could not be seen from the banks of the courthouse.

In the courtyard, Zuma's legal counsel, a group of about eight advocates, could be seen talking among themselves.

Amil Umraw

Outside, a strong police contingent with some officers brandishing riot gear were littered along the driveway.

Jacob Zuma will appear for the second time in two months and his attorneys are expected to argue for a stay of prosecution until matters surrounding who is footing his legal bills are resolved.

Among his supporters in court today are former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng, former finance minister Des van Rooyen and former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo.

Amil Umraw

He is facing 16 charges and 783 counts of corruption, money laundering and racketeering in relation to the controversial multimillion-rand arms deal scandal – a matter revived last year when the courts set aside a previous decision by the NPA to drop charges against him.

Both the EFF and the DA have brought cases against Zuma asking for a termination of the state's funding of his legal woes.

At Zuma's initial appearance on April 6, his legal team asked for a postponement so that they could file papers to challenge National Prosecuting boss Shaun Abrahams' decision to prosecute him.

After writing a motivation to Abrahams – which was rejected – Zuma was expected to take the challenge to the courts, but when it came time to file the papers, his lawyers changed their minds.

Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters