South Africa’s former president Jacob Zuma who was forced to resign, has said that the graft charges leveled against him are “politically motivated,” Channels Television is reporting.
Zuma appeared in court on Friday on corruption, money laundering, and fraud charges of over a multi-billion dollar 1990s arms deal, and following a 15-minute hearing, the Durban High Court judge Themba Sishi adjourned the cause to June 8th.
Speaking to his cheering supporters outside the court, Zuma said: “I am innocent till proven guilty, but there are people who want to treat me like I am guilty.”
His lawyers have said that they will appeal the decision to prosecute him.
Zuma is being accused of taking bribes from a French arms maker Thales during his time as a provincial economy minister and then deputy ANC president. He allegedly took the bribes in relation to a contract worth billions of dollars.
The ex president is also accused of stealing 4,072,499.85 rand from 783 payments which was handled by one Schabir Shaik who acted as his financial adviser.
In 2005, Shaik was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment over the same accusations, but Zuma was absolved of any blame following a 2016 inquiry.