Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s former president, will appear at the Durban High Court on Friday to face more than a dozen corruption charges that date back to a fraught $2.5billion arms deal in the mid-1990s.
At least 2,000 supporters of the former president are also expected to turn up to the proceedings and protest against the charges levelled at him.
Those defending Zuma argue that the courts are compromised and biased against him.
Zuma, 75, faces 16 charges of corruption, racketeering and fraud, including taking bribes from a French arms manufacturer in a set of accusations that have long dogged his political career.
The French manufacturer will also be charged with corruption. Company representatives are expected to appear in court alongside Zuma.
Zuma’s expected court appearance has been welcomed by South African civil society and trade unions, including the powerful National Union of Metal Workers (Numsa).
Phakamile Hlubi-Majola, acting spokesperson for Numsa, told Al Jazeera that Zuma’s court appearance “was well overdue”.
“As Numsa, we welcome the fact that he will be in court. We called for corruption charges to be ventilated in court a long time ago. So we look forward,” Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said.
Likewise, former ANC legislator and arms-deal activist, Andrew Feinstein, told AFP news agency that there was overwhelming evidence against Zuma and that he “should find himself in jail”.—Aljazeera