Former President Jacob Zuma has told supporters outside the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg that he could not afford to pay the legal fees for his ongoing trial.
“I have to sell hats, socks to pay for legal fees, they don’t want me to have lawyers, they are ganging up on me, but I won’t cry, I am not scared of anything,” said a defiant Zuma.
He has applied for a permanent stay of prosecution in a case involving a raft of corruption charges related to the multibillion-rand arms deal.
On Friday afternoon, he said his name had not come up in any testimony relating to state capture and corruption. “You will get tired looking for me. They call me corrupt. But till today, no one can show what I have stolen,” he said.
Zuma also spoke about the agreement he had with former President Thabo Mbeki that government would continue to fund his legal fees until his corruption case is over. He told supporters he was shocked to hear the new government under President Cyril Ramaphosa had decided to stop paying.
“When the new government came in, it said it won’t pay the money. I must sell my hat, my socks.”
But it was the court that instructed government to stop paying the fees, ruling the agreement Zuma struck with Mbeki was unlawful and illegal.Zuma told his supporters he’d even had to let go of his white counsel, saying the black lawyers that were with him now were willing to do the work without pay.
“I let go of white lawyers, I am left with black lawyers because they will do the work even if they don’t have money.”
Zuma said his lawyers had explained in court that his corruption case couldn’t continue because his rights had been violated.