Zuma’s family stand firm after ruling

Durban – As former President Jacob Zuma prepares to return to court on Tuesday his nephew, Inkosi Simphiwe Zuma, says the family has yet to receive legal advice on whether they can appeal a ruling that the former head of state must be prosecuted for corruption.

His comments come after a full bench of the Pietermaritzburg High Court led by Judge Bhekisisa Mnguni alongside Judges Thoba Poyo-Dlwati and Esther Steyn last week ruled that Zuma must face the music.

The former president had applied to have the charges against him expunged, citing long delays and political interference as his reasons.

He faces a litany of corruption, fraud and money-laundering charges stemming from the late 1990s multibillion-rand arms deal, where it is alleged he received bribes via convicted Durban fraudster Schabir Shaik.

He is co-charged with French arms company Thales.

“We are still waiting for the lawyers to advise on the way forward. They are still studying the ruling and they will then tell us what to do,” Inkosi Zuma said.

In earlier reports, Inkosi Zuma had said he felt the ex-president ought to appeal the ruling against his application for a permanent stay of prosecution of his arms deal corruption charges, adding: “I feel that there is no justice and there is no way he would win the trial unless we appeal.”

The appeal process is expected to see Zuma’s lawyers obtaining permission from the same high court and, if refused, the matter would head to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

Inkosi Zuma also said nothing would deter the family from supporting the former statesman. “We will be in court. It will be me and all my brothers. In short, the whole Zuma royal clan will be there,” he said.

The National Prosecuting Authority on Sunday said it was still in the dark on Zuma’s next legal move.

The NPA’s KZN spokesperson, Natasha Kara, said the organisation would head to court to see what transpired.

The NPA has always maintained that it is ready to continue with the prosecution after reinstating the charges against Zuma in March last year, shortly after he was recalled as the country’s president by his party, the ANC.

While support for Zuma’s court appearances have dwindled since he left office in February last year, some of his fervent supporters are confident that numbers will swell on Tuesday.

KZN member of the legislature Bishop Vusi Dube, who was fundraising for transport, said he was sure of a huge turnout in support of Zuma at the court.

Another organiser, Nkosentsha Shezi, said every zone of the ANC would have buses transporting people to Pietermaritzburg.