FILE - In this Monday, Dec. 18, 2017, file photo, President Jacob Zuma, looks on at the African National Congress (ANC) elective conference in Johannesburg. The director of South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority says that former president Jacob Zuma will be prosecuted on 16 charges of corruption. Shaun Abrahams announced Friday, March 16, 2018 that Zuma will be face charges including fraud, corruption, racketeering and money laundering. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, File)
Former president Jacob Zuma’s staunch supporters have vowed to continue backing him, with one ANC leader even suggesting people be deployed to Nkandla as human shields to prevent his arrest.

National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams brought 16 charges involving fraud, corruption, racketeering, money laundering and tax fraud against Zuma on Friday.

Former ANC Youth League deputy president Andile Lungisa, Doctor Bhengu, the chairperson of the ANC’s Msholozi branch in Nkandla, and the uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association have slammed Abrahams’s decision.

Lungisa said the top prosecutor’s reasons for bringing the charges were “just a fallacy” and an attack on Zuma.

Lungisa said there was nothing of substance in the indictment and that the commission of inquiry into the arms deal, headed by Judge Willie Seriti of the Supreme Court of Appeal, had found nothing against Zuma.

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"The masses of our people must go to Nkandla to act as shields if they come to take him. If they want to arrest him, they must arrest the masses,” said the former ANC Eastern Cape provincial executive committee member.

Lungisa said he was not calling for Zuma not to go to court, but that it was wrong for the NPA to proceed with the charges against Zuma.

According to Lungisa, the bringing of the charges was the continuation of Zuma’s persecution by his enemies, including the media.

On Saturday, Bhengu, who beat Zuma’s controversial son Edward to the Msholozi branch position last year, said residents of the former president’s KwaNxamalala village were not pleased by Abrahams’ decision.

He described the decision as a plot by Zuma’s enemies, but was confident that Zuma would emerge from the case without a scar.

Weekend Argus