ANC KwaZulu-Natal heavyweights came out in their numbers today in support of former president Jacob Zuma, who made his first appearance in the Durban High Court today.
Judge Themba Sishi announced the postponement of Zuma’s case to June 8. Zuma is facing 16 charges of corruption, fraud and racketeering.
In a meeting of the wounded, Zuma’s political allies from various ANC structures packed the small venue.
Members of the ANC provincial executive committee that was dissolved – after the Pietermaritzburg High Court nullified the conference that elected them in 2015 – were seen in Court A today. They include: Willies Mchunu (premier of KwaZulu-Natal), Sihle Zikalala and Super Zuma.
Former ANC Youth League leader Andile Lungisa was also present along with KwaZulu-Natal youth league secretary-general Thanduxolo Sabelo and former ministers Faith Muthambi and Des van Rooyen.
Zuma’s legal team was headed up by Advocate Hoosen Gani, the state was led by Advocate Billy Downer, and French arms company Thales – accused number two – was represented by Senior Counsel Anton Katz.
Zuma sat in the dock alongside Christine Guerrier, who will represent Thales for the duration of the trial.
The postponement, which was agreed on by all three legal teams, came as Zuma’s team looked to finalise its application for a review of the decision to reinstate charges against Zuma, which they say will be completed by the end of May. That application – should it fail – is likely to be followed by an application for a permanent stay of prosecution.
The state said it was ready for the trial to begin on November 12.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance was aiming to have the decision for the state to foot the bill for Zuma’s legal woes to be reversed. Last month the party took to the North Gauteng High Court asking it to declare the arrangement between Zuma and the presidency invalid.