People & Power

Geo-politics, global, national and local influence. This section is dedicated to monitoring the role of the political class and influential citizens in shaping policies that affect the future of Africa.

Zuma gets on his knees ahead of court appearance

Former South African President, Jacob Zuma plans to consults the spirits in a vigil, ahead of his court case on Friday, April 6th.

The vigil to be held on the eve of his court appearance would take place at Albert Park Durban, a stone throw from the  KwaZulu-Natal High Court that would sit on his case.

Meanwhile, “the mother of all prayers” involving people from various parts of the country, conveyed in more than 100 buses, would be held outside the court on Friday just before proceedings begin.

Zuma is to face 16 charges relating to corruption, money laundering, and racketeering, in connection with 783 questionable payments he received for an arms deal.

The $2.5 billion arms deal charges against Zuma was previously dropped on the eve of the country’s 2009 election that brought him to power. However, in 2017, a court ruled that the decision to drop the charges was “irrational”. Meanwhile, Zuma who thought he had successfully dodged the bullet, was served a cold dish of the reinstatement of his charges by the country’s National Prosecuting Authority Director, Shaun Abrahams in March.

Seeking spiritual guidance and consulting leaders in the church has been a style for the former President throughout his 9-year tenure in office as he occasionally called for religious leaders to play roles in the country (some of these roles might be offering intercessory prayers for the country).

According to Bishop Bheki Ngcobo, “he believed that religious leaders had to join hands in ensuring that government services reach the grass-root communities to whom they are destined.”

Ironically, Zuma’s need for spiritual guidance heightens whenever he is to face prosecution for these charges, just as it was in 2009, thousands of people gathered outside the court a night before his appearance in court for a vigil for the very same corruption scandal.

Probably, the Bishops and attendees of the vigil are hopeful that their prayers and supplications would avert sentencing the former President for his crimes, should the court find him guilty.

Jacob Zuma’s co-accused, including the arms deal manufacturer, Thint will each face one count of racketeering, two counts of corruption and one of money laundering for allegedly paying the former president bribes in return for protection from investigations into contracts relating to the multimillion-rand arms deal.