Cape Town — Crowds of supporters have gathered outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court where former president Jacob Zuma faces charges of corruption, fraud, racketeering and money laundering. Zuma's appearance follows the dismissal of his attorney Michael Hulley, who represented him for 12 years.
Hulley's replacement, Lungisani Daniel Mantsha, achieved notoriety in 2007 after a court found him unfit to practice as an attorney and struck him off the roll of lawyers. According to Political Analysis South Africa, Zuma's legal team will apply for a postponement in order to familiarise themselves with the case.
Zuma's return to the Pietermaritzburg High Court comes after nearly a decade when the then-president faced similar charges during August 2008. Zuma and his co-accused Pierre Moynot‚ representing the French-based arms company Thint, faced 18 charges of money laundering‚ corruption, tax evasion and fraud.
A month later, former high court judge Chris Nicholson, who threw the case out of court, said Zuma was entitled to make representation to the National Director of Public Prosecutions before being charged. In the ruling Nicholson said: "The obligation to hear representations forms part of the audi alteram partem principle. What is required is that a person who may be adversely affected by a decision be given an opportunity to make representations with a view to procuring a favourable result. The affected person should usually be informed of the gist or the substance of the case‚ which he is to answer."