Former president Jacob Zuma will appear in court on Friday, April 6 to answer to 16 charges, including fraud, corruption, racketeering and money laundering.
Last month, head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Shaun Abrahams, announced that Zuma would go on trial after nearly 10 years.
Zuma will appear in the Durban High Court, and will face 783 counts of fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering. His original charge sheet, which dates back to more than a decade ago, alleges that between 1995 and 2005, Zuma and his family received 783 payments from Schabir Shaik.
These payments totaled more than R4-million. It is also alleged that Zuma personally met with Sheik’s prospective business partners in an attempt to secure both their and Shaik’s interests in the infamous arms deal.
It is expected that the proceedings will be short with the likelihood of a postponement.
Last week, a leaked document appeared on Twitter, which contained the names and whereabouts of 207 state witnesses who have been contacted to testify in Zuma’s upcoming trial. The witnesses on this list include Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille.
De Lille has confirmed that she will take the stand during Zuma’s trial.
The witnesses will be flown in from all around the world, including New Zealand, Australia and England. However, not all witnesses will be called to testify.
The NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku would not comment on the veracity of the document, saying it is the institution’s policy never to release details of witnesses or suspects before they appear in court.
Michael Hulley, personal lawyer to Zuma, will be defending him in court this Friday.