Former president Jacob Zuma. File picture: Dumisani Dube/ANA
Durban - Supporters of former president Jacob Zuma will hold a night vigil at Albert Park between 6pm tomorrow and 6am on Friday.

Zuma is expected appear before Judge Themba Sishi on Friday on 16 charges of corruption, money laundering and racketeering in connection with the controversial arms deal.

The National Director of Public Prosecutions, Shaun Abrahams, recently reinstated the charges after he was effectively compelled to do so by the North Gauteng High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal.

Zuma’s backers are also behind a fundraising campaign that will help pay for his supporters’ transport to and from the court when the trial starts.

National Funeral Practitioners Association of South Africa (NafupaSA) president Muzi Hlengwa said members of the groups, who are mostly business owners, would foot the bill for the transport costs on Friday.

Thereafter, they would use a bank account linked to the Jacob Zuma Trust Fund to raise funds to transport the former president’s supporters.

NafupaSA, Black First Land First (BLF), Delangokubona Business Forum, Asidle Sonke Business Forum and the National Unemployed People’s Trust have all asked for donations to be deposited into an Absa account.

Delangokubona deputy president Ntsiki Ncayiyana said the account belonged to the trust, which Zuma had been using to provide scholarships to needy students for their tertiary education fees.

Ncayiyana said the money raised would pay for buses to transport Zuma supporters from across the country.

“We requested to use the trust fund for donations because we wanted an account which had all the paperwork done, so that whoever is in charge of the account would be liable for every cent that comes in,” said Ncayiyana.

He added that no deposits had yet been made into the account.

“Leaders of various religious groups will be praying for Zuma in his difficult time,” he said.

He added that the eThekwini Municipality had granted them a permit to march from Botha’s Park to court on Friday morning.

“The leaders will be inside the courtroom, while the ­majority of the supporters will be outside.

“The transport will be available for the duration of the trial,” he said.

BLF leader Andile Mngxitama asked that all members of the public, irrespective of their political affiliation, participate.

The Department of Justice on Tuesday said seating would be limited inside the court.

“The court has a maximum capacity of 40 seats; as such we request that all media houses ­assist us in sending accreditation for one person only to be seated inside the courtroom.

“Special interest groups are also kindly requested to submit accreditation requests,” read a statement from the department.

Daily News