Following the violence and looting, former President Jacob Zuma will appear on Monday, July 19, for corruption in one of the many cases for which he is charged. These are arms agreements signed with the French industrialist Thalès in the 1990s. It is Jacob Zuma’s first public appearance since he has been behind bars. The former president appears for video conferencing for health reasons but also for security reasons.
With our special correspondent in Pietermaritzburg, Romain Song
Jacob Zuma only presence, as usual, he lets his lawyer fight for him. And as usual again, it is his legal team that is trying to postpone this trial. His lawyer believes that a virtual hearing is an infringement of his client’s rights and requires a postponement. The prosecution regrets a well-known tactic from the Zuma clan to avoid justice by all means.
Jacob Zuma is live with a video conference from the Escourt prison in KwaZulu-Natal. One and a half weeks of detention did not physically change him. He seemed in good health, wearing a suit and tie, a large gold watch on his wrist, from some room. “It feels good to see you living father,” tweeted one of his daughters, Dudu Zuma.
The fear of further violence
In this corruption trial, he faces sixteen bills. He pleads not guilty, but has nothing to do with what he is in prison today, a contempt for justice, and the authorities fear that violence will resurface from his followers. So for security reasons, the courthouse is well guarded.
This audience, even virtual ones, aroused the fear of new exaggerations. The Pietermartizburg court was protected by armored vehicles from the South African army. Although calm has returned to the country, the memory of the looting triggered by the imprisonment of Jacob Zuma requires caution.
The former head of state was not alone before the judges. 1000 people have appeared in court for their participation in the riots. The court in Pietermartizburg will say on Tuesday morning yes or no request for postponement of the trial against corruption of Jacob Zuma accepted.