FACING CHARGES: Jacob Zuma
Former president Jacob Zuma’s backers in KwaZulu-Natal have started a campaign to galvanise support for him when he appears in court on corruption charges.

The ANC Youth League provincial chairperson Kwazi Mshengu said on Sunday the league had started mobilising its own structures and those of its mother body to organise support for Zuma.

Mshengu announced the campaigns on several TV news stations at the weekend.

“Right now we are engaging the different structures in the organisation and the different societies. Yesterday, we had discussion with charismatic church leaders who have expressed their willingness to come on board, and next week we are going to develop a clear programme on how we are going to mobilise,” he said.

Mshengu said the announcement of the court date would assist their mobilisation campaign, adding that the church leaders believed in Zuma’s innocence until “the court decides otherwise”.

“The church leaders are also concerned that this case has taken a long time to return to the courts.

“They believe the delay has violated some of Nxamalala’s (Zuma’s) rights,” said Mshengu.

He added that the ANCYL structures would also be visiting community-based organisations.

“Once we have a clear programme we will ask them (ANC structures) to hold meetings to engage with other influential people.”

He said mobilising support for Zuma was not meant to intimidate the justice system.

It was reported on Sunday that the Hawks were investigating new allegations that Zuma had accepted a bribe of more than R1million from a company dealing with abalone to influence him against removing Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana from his position.

READ MORE: Court date set for Zuma - reports

The National Funeral Practitioners Association of SA (Nafupa SA) is also preparing to support Zuma during his difficult times.

The organisation, at a banquet that was held in Durban earlier this month, bestowed two awards on Zuma for championing radical economic transformation (RET) and service delivery.

Nafupa SA president Muzi Hlengwa said although they had not yet discussed how they were going to support Zuma, they were ready to do so.

“Personally, if he goes to court I will be there. I will cancel any engagement (I have) to be in court.

“I share the same view with our secretary-general (Nkosentsha Shezi), with whom I discussed this with, that if Zuma goes to court we should be there to support him,” he said.

There is also a black caucus, which is made up of 23 business forums formed on the basis of the RET, which is to meet soon “and take a stance on supporting Zuma”.

“At our meeting, the stance of supporting Zuma will be top our agenda, and if there is a need to fund-raise, we will discuss it,” he said.

He said part of the fund-raising would be to collect funds to travel across the country promoting RET.

“If there is a need to pay for Msholozi’s (Zuma’s) legal bills, if he cannot afford it, the black caucus will do it.

“But right now we have not taken a decision to fund-raise for Zuma’s charges, but if need be, we will,” Hlengwa added.

Zuma is reportedly expected to be issued with a summons to appear in the Durban High Court in Durban next month.

The Star