Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Jacoline Prinsloo

Durban - As former President Jacob Zuma faces a cash crunch to finance his costly legal defence in a bid to avoid prosecution, his clan says it is willing to help him financially.

The leader of the Zuma clan, Inkosi Simphiwe Zuma, said if Zuma ever made a request to be helped, they would oblige.

Inkosi Zuma’s comments come after he was quizzed on the former president’s appeal process.

“If we have something to offer, we can help him. He does indicate that he is facing some financial challenges, and we could meet to help him with what we can afford,” Inkosi Zuma said.

Zuma told his supporters in Pietermaritzburg in May that the “State is not paying for me and I have to sell my socks and hat”.

His financial woes started when the North Gauteng High Court ruled in December last year that the State had to recover some of the money (estimated to be around R15.3million) used to fund his legal defence, which has dragged on for almost a decade.

Zuma was this week due to appear before the Zondo Commission which is probing allegations of state capture.

That appearance was shelved when it emerged he would not be available as he was preparing for his appeal.

He will now appear before the Commission between November 11 and 15.

Shortly after the grilling by the commission, Zuma, who is facing corruption, fraud and money laundering charges for his role in the corruption-tainted R30billion arms purchase of 1999, will then return to the Pieter­maritzburg Court on November22 to hear his legal team argue why they want to appeal against the ruling handed down on October 11.

Zuma’s appeal is set to be opposed by the National Prosecuting Authority after its lead investigator, advocate Billy Downer, told the Pietermaritzburg High Court last week that the prosecuting body was ready to proceed with the case.

In response, Zuma’s lawyer, advocate Thabani Masuku, said they were also ready for the case, but they would prefer to first explore the appeal option.

Political Bureau