Friends of Jacob Zuma Seek Contributions for Legal Bills

Friends of embattled Ex-president of South Africa Jacob Zuma are pleading with the public to donate money to help cover his legal fees.

The 79-year-old ex-president has been fighting a corruption case linked to an arms deal signed over two decades ago.

Months after he was removed from office by the ruling African National Congress (ANC), he was ordered by a court to refund the state the equivalent of more than a million dollars that had been spent on his legal bills.

Zuma is facing a 16-count charge of fraud, graft and racketeering linked to the 1999 purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats and equipment from five European arms firms when he was deputy president.

He is accused of taking bribes from one of the firms which has also been charged with corruption, although both have pleaded not guilty.

The trial started in May after numerous postponements and delays, as Zuma’s legal team battled to have the charges dropped.

His next court appearance was pushed back to September after Zuma was hospitalised for an undisclosed illness.

Zuma’s legal fees are estimated to have cost the state at least $1.1 million.

Zuma had stated he was so broke he had to sell his hats and socks to foot his legal bill.

He is currently serving a 15-month jail sentence for snubbing a judicial panel probing graft during his tenure.

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