Hands off Zuma‚ say loyalists

Fike Mthalane and Nelisiwe Ntuli outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Friday. They say they won’t stop supporting former president Jacob Zuma because he’s an innocent man. Zuma is facing corruption charges.
Fike Mthalane and Nelisiwe Ntuli outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Friday. They say they won’t stop supporting former president Jacob Zuma because he’s an innocent man. Zuma is facing corruption charges.
Image: Thuli Dlamini

Supporters loyal to former president Jacob Zuma are trickling into the vicinity outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court‚ where he is expected to appear on Friday morning.

The usual buzz that surrounds Zuma’s court appearances appears to have died down‚ with more police officers and journalists outside the courthouse than supporters.

Some loyalists are wearing T-shirts with slogans reading “Zuma for president”.

Happiness Mthalane wants Zuma to lead the country again.

”We want him back. He did so much for SA. With him as our president he built us houses‚ clinics and schools.”

Sne Sokela said she understood the charges against Zuma.

“He is innocent and should not face the charges.”

Neliswe Ntuli‚ who travelled from Zuma’s village‚ Nkandla‚ to support him‚ said he was a good man.

“I will support him to the end.”

The unemployed women said if Zuma was president again‚ they would find jobs in no time.

Zuma faces 16 charges that include fraud‚ corruption and racketeering.

These charges relate to 783 payments which he allegedly received as a bribe to protect French company Thales from an investigation into the controversial multi-billion rand arms deal. The alleged bribe was facilitated by Zuma’s former financial adviser‚ Schabir Shaik.

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