A report in Sunday Times makes it clear that much is at stake for former president Jacob Zuma in his corruption trial, which was postponed on Friday in the High Court in Durban.
It is likely to cast a light on his personal finances and taxes, and if it emerges that his personal homestead Nkandla was even partially built from the proceeds of crime, he could have his home seized and sold to recoup the money.
The former ANC leader will probably have to produce his mortgage papers, which may not even exist, and the court may examine whatever donations and loans he has received to fund his lifestyle and developments at Nkandla.
Some of the more than R4 million Zuma received controversially from his then financial adviser Schabir Shaik – channelled to Zuma in 783n payments from arms deal companies seeking political cover if any investigation was going to be launched by government – went towards paying for some of the early refurbishments at Nkandla.
On Friday, Zuma thanked the people who went to the Durban High Court to support him in his corruption case, and said the lies and conspiracy against him would not prevail.
Zuma was appearing for a preliminary hearing and is accused number one in a case that relates to the multibillion-rand arms deal, which dates back to 1999.
He is facing 16 charges, including fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering, for allegedly receiving bribes from French arms manufacturer Thales and from Shaik.
Thales is accused number two, and was represented by Christine Guirrera, who had flown in from Paris, France, and was seated in the dock at least forty minutes before Zuma arrived.
The arms deal secured military equipment for the country’s air, sea and land defence forces at a cost of more than R30 billion. Shaik was found guilty in 2005. He is currently serving a 15-year sentence at his upmarket Durban home on grounds of medical parole.
Zuma told people on Friday, that he was going to challenge the National Prosecuting Authority’s decision to reinstate the charges against him. He said that he would like the court to listen to the “Spy Tapes and for the whole country to hear for itself what’s in the tapes”.
The court heard that a mutually agreed on postponement was being sought, with the next appearance provisionally set down for June 8. The postponement was needed as Zuma wanted to bring a review application of the case.
The charges against Zuma were withdrawn in April 2009. In mid March, National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams announced that there was a reasonable prospect of conviction and said Zuma would be prosecuted for one count of racketeering, two counts of corruption, one count of money laundering and 12 counts of fraud.
On Friday, Zuma said that he would continue to fight for the freedom of black people.
– Additional reporting, African News Agency (ANA)