Unlike in the past, when former President Jacob appeared before the High Court of Pietermaritzburg for his long-running corruption trial, the provincial capital was calm on Tuesday morning. This was because Zuma was not present with his large entourage of security teams and supporters. That was in anticipation of a postponement of the matter to May 17 this year.
During the 1998-1999 procurement of weapons, Zuma is suspected of pocketing bribes. He disputes the allegations against him, saying that they are motivated by politics. The bribes, including the annual retainer of R500 000, were allegedly paid by his former financial advisor, Schabir Shaik, and came from Thales, a French weapons manufacturer that, during the arms procurement process, signed tenders to supply arms.
Judicial eagles for Zuma and Thales, suspected of having bribed him, had already gathered within the case. Advocate Mpilo Sikhakhane and advocate Rudolph Baloyi were part of Zuma’s squad. Usually, the wide park is used by supporters of Zuma to gather while waiting for him to address them. Just a handful of police officers and security staff from Msunduzi (Pietermaritzburg) were seen that day. News channels were set up inside the court precinct to give their viewers some updates about the high-profile case.