Zuma tells supporters charges against him are political

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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. 

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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. 

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."

- additional reporting by Reuters