Former president Jacob Zuma File picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
Durban - Former president Jacob Zuma’s supporters are using a bank account linked to the Jacob Zuma Trust Fund to raise funds to transport his backers to court when he ­appears on corruption ­charges.

The National Funeral Practitioners Association of South Africa (NafupaSA), Black First Land First (BLF), Amadelangokubona Business Forum, Asidle Sonke Business Forum and National Unemployed People’s Trust have all requested that donations be deposited into an Absa account.

Amadelangokubona deputy president Ntsiki Ncayiyana said the account belonged to the Jacob Zuma Trust, which the former president had been using to provide scholarships to needy students for their tertiary education fees.

Ncayiyana said the money would pay for buses to transport Zuma’s supporters from across the country.

“We asked to use the trust fund for donations because we wanted an account that had all the paperwork done, so that whoever is in charge of it will be liable for every cent that comes in,” said Ncayiyana.

He said no deposits had yet been made into the ­account.

READ: Cele warns Zuma, supporters to stop mobilising for court

NafupaSA president Muzi Hlengwa said members of the groups, who were mostly business owners, would foot the bill to transport supporters when Zuma appeared in the Durban High Court on Friday.

Zuma is expected to appear before Judge Themba Sishi on 16 charges of corruption, money laundering and racketeering in connection with the controversial arms deal.

The National Director of Public Prosecutions, Shaun Abrahams, recently reinstated the charges after he was effectively compelled to do so due to rulings by the North Gauteng High Court and ­Supreme Court of Appeal.

After a meeting to finalise Zuma’s support campaign on Tuesday, Hlengwa said they would hold a night vigil in a huge marquee at Albert Park between 6pm tomorrow and 6am on Friday.

“Leaders of various religious groups will be praying for Zuma in his difficult time,” he said.

He added that the eThekwini Municipality had granted them a permit to march from Botha’s Park to court on Friday morning.

“The leaders will be inside the courtroom while the ­majority will be outside.

“The transport will be available for the duration of the trial,” he said.

BLF leader Andile Mngxi­tama asked all members of the public, irrespective of their political affiliation, to participate.

ALSO READ: No party colours in defence of Zuma, says Magashule

Seating

The Department of Justice on Tuesday said seating would be limited inside the court.

“The court has a maximum capacity of 40 seats; as such we request that media houses assist us in sending accreditation for one person only to be seated inside the courtroom.

“Special interest groups are also kindly requested to submit accreditation requests,” the department said.

Meanwhile, Zuma’s controversial son Edward Zuma ­issued a statement on Tuesday attacking Police Minister Bheki Cele for calling on his father and his backers to stop mobilising for support before the court appearance.

“It would be absurd to deny people the opportunity to show their support and vent their anger at these ludicrous ­charges laid against Jacob Zuma. The name of the ANC was never used by the Zuma family, but as a member of the ANC myself I shall be attending court in my ANC shirt,” said Edward.

Mngxitama also accused Cele of trying to intimidate Zuma supporters.

“We view this as pure intimidation,” he said.

The Mercury