Former President Jacob Zuma speaks to supporters after his appearance in the Pietermaritzburg High Court where he faces charges that include fraud, corruption and racketeering. File photo: REUTERS/Rogan Ward.

Pietermaritzburg - Coming out of four-day legal wrestling with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to force it to drop his corruption charges, a defiant former president Jacob Zuma says he will survive all the hardships he is currently facing even when "the democratic government's letting him down".

Addressing his supporters outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court, Zuma said because he fought many teenage wars, he will fight even without a stick in his hand.

"I will survive even if I am dipped in a pot with boiling with water. Even if you can start a fire, I will survive because I have a team of patriotic lawyers who know the battle we are facing... I will not complain because I am a fighter who fights even without a stick," Zuma said, adding he was taught at a tender age how to fight.

His comments were a reference to the decision by President Cyril Ramaphosa to stop footing his staggering legal bill. He said while he still owes his legal team he is glad they were willing to work with him. 

"I have to sell my hat to foot my legal bill. I have also to sell my socks just to have for my lawyers even though there is a law that says they must pay for me. This while people like (Dr Wouter) Basson have their fees paid for by the State. They are not paying for a man who fought and brought democracy," Zuma told his about 3000 supporters.

Video: Sihle Mavuso/ IOL Politics.

In all-out assault against the current government, he said he never thought he would have to face this during a democratic government. Despite that, he said he will soldier on.

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