Former president Jacob Zuma waves to his supporters on stage after his court appearance in Durban.
DURBAN - Former president Jacob Zuma on Friday told a crowd of his supporters the criminal charges against him are political.
Zuma made his first appearance in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court, on 16 charges of corruption, fraud, money-laundering and racketeering related to the multi-billion rand arms deal of the 1990s.
The matter was postponed to June 8, while his legal team brings an application to review the state&39;s decision to prosecute him again.
Thousands marched to the court to show their support to him and they were rewarded with a direct address in Zulu by the man they insist on calling their leader, despite his resignation as president in February.
Zuma thanks all those who came to support him and saying they understood the constitution & he&39;s not guilty. ZumaCharges— KhayelihleKhumalo (@KhayaJames) April 6, 2018
The former president took a jibe at the ANC, saying some people were acting like he has already been convicted. The ANC had told those rallying behind him not to wear ANC colours, a directive that was ignored.
Zuma said he will use the spy tapes in court, to prove he is innocent.
"The truth will come out: what have I done?" he asked. "I can&39;t believe all the lies about me."
"It is clear to me that the judiciary, politicians believe I don&39;t have rights."
Zuma says he&39;s being persecuted for demanding economic freedom and political freedom is not enough. ZumaCharges— KhayelihleKhumalo (@KhayaJames) April 6, 2018
- additional reporting by Reuters