Former president Jacob Zuma addresses supporters outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)

Durban - In his typical style of only providing hints about his next move while speaking in a cryptic manner and taking a dig at his enemies through idioms, former president Jacob Zuma used his address to supporters outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday to hint at another impending court battle with the State and speak of a growing number of traitors. 

He had appeared earlier on Tuesday to face charges of corruption, fraud and money laundering. The charges emanate from the 1999 arms deal worth R30 billion. It is alleged that he received bribes from arms manufacturer Thales through his former financial adviser, convicted Durban fraudster Schabir Shaik.

Shaik was released on medical parole in 2009 after serving a mere two years and four months of his 15 year sentence after he was convicted of corruption in 2005.

A provisional holding date for the trial was set for February 4, 2020.

Zuma, in Zulu, briefly spoke about the ruling of the full bench of the Pietermaritzburg High Court which dismissed his application for a permanent stay of prosecution.

Zuma said while the judges "were shy" to give their reasons, they did agree that his rights were violated but still he must be prosecuted because the case against him was of significance.

Former President Jacob Zuma told his supporters in Zulu that he will fight the State to the bitter end. Video: Sihle Mavuso

He said that was the only brief explanation for their decision. 

The supporters who numbered about 1 500, including people who stopped at the park to hear him speak, were in high spirits even telling him that they would come back to support him when he returns to court in the near future.  

Zuma said the judge that dismissed his application for a permanent stay of prosecution was not clear why he made this ruling. Video: Sihle Mavuso

Zuma added that he was being "persecuted" and later hinted that they would be legally taking on the State again. He did not specify the exact legal challenge his legal team would launch but said he will fight the State to the bitter end. 

Zuma said that there is a growing number of traitors and cowards. Video: Sihle Mavuso

Signing off, apparently troubled by the number of people coming out to support him, he said the number of "traitors" was ballooning, even using a popular maskandi song which speaks of a growing number of traitors and cowards.

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