Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Themba Hadebe/AP/African News Agency (ANA)

Pietermaritzburg - Former president Jacob Zuma was not expected to address his supporters outside Pietermaritzburg High Court on Thursday but organisers were preparing for a large crowd to arrive.

The hearing into his application for a permanent stay of prosecution of his arms-deal related fraud and corruption charges started on Monday and will conclude on Friday.

After listening to lawyers representing Zuma and his co-accused, French arms company Thales, the State on Thursday presented its counter-argument.

Chairperson of the group Radical Economic Transformation Champion Nkosentsha Shezi said he expected people from around to province to gather outside the court in their numbers on Friday.

“I have seen that people from Stanger (North Coast) and Durban are coming here today (on Thursday) and tomorrow (on Friday) to show support for former president Jacob Zuma” said Shezi.

However, at about 11 am there were still no activity except the loud music playing from a mobile stage.

“We are looking at the closing day (for the hearing) on Friday to use the little resources that we have to make sure that we transport as many people as possible to come here so that the president of the people (Zuma) can speak the crowd tomorrow,” he said.

Another organiser Bishop Vusi Dube said Zuma would not address the crowd on Thursday, but “we set the stage to entertain people who may be interested to know what is happening inside the court, and during lunch breaks we will come out to brief them”.

Other senior Zuma supporters inside courton Thursday are former ANC provincial secretary Super Zuma, who said he was representing Zuma’s family, Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association spokesperson Carl Niehaus and former provincial parliament speaker Meshack Radebe.

Political Bureau