S.Africa's Zuma arrives at court for graft hearing

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South Africa's former president Jacob Zuma has appeared in court to face corruption charges linked to an arms deal that dates back to before he became the country's leader.

When Judge Sishi addressed the court, he did so very softly to confirm that the matter was adjourned until 8 June.

Zuma at the age of 75 faces at least corruption charges against him along with the charges of racketeering and fraud which includes taking bribes from a French arms manufacturer in a set of accusations that have always been with him during his political career.

Case against Jacob Zuma: He is accused of accepting bribes from French arms firm Thales via his financial adviser at the time.

Answers to parliamentary questions reveal that the funding of Zuma's battles against his prosecution has so far cost taxpayers at least R32.4-million.

Zuma was deputy president at the time of the deal.

On the face of it Mr Zuma is unperturbed by the latest controversy - he is determined to use every legal avenue available to him to fight the corruption charges.

- February 2018: Zuma is forced to resign as South African president by his party in the wake of mounting corruption scandals.

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But he told the court he had showered to avoid contracting HIV after having unprotected sex with his HIV-positive accuser - a common but risky myth.

Police expect that more than 2,000 protesters could descend on the courthouse to voice support for Zuma, with the main opposition Democratic Alliance planning a counter-demonstration.

Zuma said the sex with the 31-year-old family friend was consensual and he was acquitted.

After his 15-minutes appearance at the court, Zuma told a crowd that had gathered outside that he would be proven innocent in the case.

The ruling African National Congress, trying to avoid a split in its ranks, had warned its members to refrain from wearing ANC regalia when they show sympathy for anyone facing corruption charges.

Many supporters flocked to the site, dressed in the ANC colours of green, gold and black.

This after Zuma said he would challenge the decision of National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) boss Shaun Abrahams to reinstate charges against him. "There are people who are plotting to have me arrested and placed in prison".

Zuma has claimed the inquiry proved there was "not a single iota" of evidence for wrongdoing.

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