“One day they will wish [the case never] continued”.
These were the words former president Jacob Zuma spoke when he addressed a sea of supporters, dressed in the African National Congress colours of green, gold, and black, outside the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban on Friday morning after his brief appearance.
The proceedings got under way at 09:30 but was over after about 10 minutes.
The case was postponed to June 8.
Zuma is facing 16 charges relating to 783 payments he allegedly received in connection with the controversial arms deal.
Speaking in isiZulu to a large crowd gathered outside the court, Zuma defended his name and said it had been dragged through the mud.
He said the case had been reinstated for political reasons.
Zuma also pointed out that 13 years have passed since he last appeared in court for the same charges and blamed opposition parties for the case’s return to court.
Opposition parties turned to the courts because they had failed in Parliament, he told the crowd.
“They don’t say: ‘There are allegations against Zuma.’ They only say: ‘Zuma is corrupt.'”
Zuma thanked the crowd for supporting him, as they had previously.
He claimed he was innocent, even though he was being treated like a criminal.
”Our country’s Constitution states that the accused is innocent until proven guilty. However, there are some people, even people whom I trusted, who have judged me as guilty already. The truth will be revealed in time.”
“Your presence here shows that you understand the Constitution and law that well.”
Zuma belted out Umshini Wam (Bring me my machine gun) before he left the court.