Former president Jacob Zuma is expected to appear in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Friday, facing fraud, corruption and money laundering charges.
Zuma is accused of taking bribes from French arms maker Thales over a contract worth R30 billion during his time as the KwaZulu-Natal economy minister and then deputy African National Congress (ANC) president. He faces one count of racketeering, two counts of corruption, one count of money laundering and 12 counts of fraud.
Zuma’s backers are expected to gather outside the courtroom and residents have been warned of heavy traffic in the central business district.
— Dasen Thathiah (@DasenThathiah) July 26, 2018
The supporters are expected to start gathering at Dales Park in Mayors Walk on Friday morning and march to Freedom Square where they would wait for the duration of the case until they are addressed by Zuma.
KZN police on Thursday said that strict measures were in place ahead of Zuma’s appearance.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said the security for the court appearance would be done in consultation with all role players and security agencies.
“We plan jointly taking into account all and every eventuality. It is not our policy to make public our security plans, deployment of manpower and resources,” said Naicker.
He said the measures would be in place to mitigate any threats.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has alleged there was an illegal “common purpose” relationship between Zuma, his convicted financial advisor Shabir Shaik and Thales South Africa (Pty) Ltd to pay and accept bribes for “political protection.”