Former South African president Jacob Zuma appeared in court Friday on corruption charges over a multi-billion dollar 1990s arms deal, with the judge adjourning the case after a 15-minute hearing.
The charges against him were dropped in 2009, however, National Prosecuting Authority head Shaun Abrahams announced last month that they would prosecute the former president.
The 16 charges against Zuma were recently reinstated and relate to a $2.5bn (£1.78bn) arms deal in the 1990s when he was deputy president.sky news report”.
Zuma is accused of illicitly pocketing a total of 4,072,499.85 rand — 280,000 euros at today’s exchange rates — from 783 payments handled by Schabir Shaik, a businessman who acted as his financial adviser.
Theguardian report that Zuma, who was ousted as head of state in February, attended a brief preliminary hearing at the high court in Durban, a city on the south-east coast.
Wearing a dark suit, a smiling Mr Zuma waved to crowds of supporters and reporters as he mounted the steps of the High Court in Durban shortly before 0700 GMT today.
Hundreds of supporters, many dressed in the green and gold of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party, had gathered to chant and sing slogans, and a large police presence had been deployed to prevent clashes.
“He might have made his own mistakes, but we say allow the old man to retire in peace. It is a conspiracy, it’s politically motivated,” pro-Zuma business manager Sphelele Ngwane, 29, told AFP.
The protesters sang liberation-era songs including “Umshini Wam”, meaning “Bring me my machine gun”, which Zuma often sang at ANC rallies and gatherings.
Heavily armed police kept watch on the square outside the court as the hearing began.
Zuma, 75 denies the charges and is challenging the decision to bring the case against him.
judge Themba Sishi said,“This matter is adjourned until June 8,” after being addressed by lawyers from both sides who confirmed that Zuma would appeal against the decision to prosecute him.