Ex president Jacob Zuma isn’t going to go down for corruption accusations without setting up a major battle.
On Monday, the Hawks at long last served Zuma with a summons to show up in the Durban High Court on April 6, his legal counselor Michael Hulley affirmed to The Star on Monday night.
But Hulley was quick to point out that they were challenging National Prosecuting Authority boss Shaun Abrahams’ decision to reinstate the charges against Zuma.
“I confirm that the summons has been received and that we are preparing an application to review the NDPP’s (National Director of Public Prosecutions’) decision to prosecute (Zuma),” Hulley said, without providing any further explanation.
Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said a summons was also served yesterday on Zuma’s co-accused, French arms company Thint, “whose lawyers are in Cape Town”.
With regard to opposing the summons, Mulaudzi said all the matters would be ventilated in court.
“It is their (defence lawyers’) job On April 6, the accused will be formally charged,” he said.
The Hawks have moved swiftly since Zuma lost power to President Cyril Ramaphosa and was subsequently pushed from the Union Buildings.
At the weekend, the City Press reported that the elite crime-fighting unit was investigating allegations that Zuma had received a R1million bribe from from a Western Cape abalone dealer in exchange for not firing Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana.
Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini, an ally of Zuma, and Zokwana are being investigated by the Hawks for allegedly receiving R300000 in kickbacks from the same businessman.
In 2009, then acting NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe took the decision to drop the case against Zuma who was the ANC president at the time.
Mpshe’s decision was found to be unlawful and irrational by both the North Gauteng High Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal.
Zuma and Thint have both been served with summonses to appear in the Durban High Court, and they will not be required to apply for bail.
Thint allegedly paid Zuma R500 000 to protect the company from any arms deal investigations.
The State believes that that money was to be used to pay for Zuma’s Nkandla renovations.
Meanwhile, KwaZulu-Natal church leaders, who support Zuma, said on Monday that they would be at court to pray for him during his difficult time.
The KwaZulu-Natal ANC Youth League (ANCYL) has already said it has started to mobilise various community and ANC structures to rally behind Zuma when he answers to “politically motivated” charges of fraud and corruption.
Church leaders, the ANC Veterans League (ANCVL) in KZN and the ANC in eThekwini have come out saying they will support Zuma in and outside the court.
Bishop Wellington Ngcobo of the National Interfaith Council of SA said members of about 500 affiliated Christian, Hindu, Muslim and African traditional religious groups across the country would be in court to support Zuma.
Ngcobo said according to the council’s principles, “we cannot turn against someone because he is being labelled a sinner”.
“Even if he is found guilty, God does not turn against the sinner, He helps him to repent,” he said
Ngcobo described Zuma as the champion of antiretrovirals, free education and radical economic transformation.
“His achievements are not highlighted, but only those things that he had not been found guilty of are highlighted.
“Msholozi (Zuma) during apartheid joined the likes of John Langalibalele Dube to fight injustice, and now we are looking at the impartiality of the judicial system,” he said.
The ANC has warned its structures and leagues not to use party regalia and paraphernalia in support of Zuma and others accused in state capture cases.
ANCVL KZN secretary Teresa Mthembu said the league would support Zuma “in his darkest hours”.
“Come rain or shine we will support Msholozi to the end,” she said.
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule at the weekend gave instructions to Zuma’s supporters not to wear party regalia to the court. However, Mthembu said they would go to court as members of the ANC and ANCVL.
“We support Zuma because he is a member of the ANC.
“He was the ANC’s president and he has not left the ANC,” she said.