Pietermaritzburg - Fewer supporters for former President Jacob Zuma are expected outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday when his high powered legal team's bid to have his corruption charges permanently expunged entered day two.
When the hearing began on Monday, about 120 buses came from all over the province and brought in about 8 000 supporters to the court's doorsteps. The supporters were later addressed by Zuma shortly after the proceedings of the day had been concluded.
A supporter who spoke to Independent Media said they were informed by their organisers at the local level that there was no money to hire buses and transport would only be provided again on the last day of the hearing. The last day of the hearing may be Thursday or Friday, depending on when arguments end.
"We will not be at court today as we have been told that there is no money for buses and food for supporters of the former president. We will, however, be back at court on the last day of the case to support him," a supporter from Durban who alerted Independent Media of the crisis, said.
He said they were disappointed to have not been provided with transport but they would still be available when asked to come to court to show support again when the hearing concludes.
"I would have loved to be there throughout the hearing to support the former president but because of the transport issues, I will not go there. However, I will wait for our organiser to call us to return to court," said the woman.
Bishop Vusi Dube, a coordinator of the support group, confirmed that indeed they are facing financial constraints, hence their decision to reserve the little resources they have for the last day.
"We are trying to save costs here as this thing is a logistical nightmare. So if you have to bring 80 buses from Durban and about 40 from here (KZN Midlands), the budget will be high and we basically don't have a budget but rely on sponsors. We don't want to rip off our sponsors," Dube said.
He added that they expected their supporters from Gauteng and the Free State, who were lodging in Pietermaritzburg, to pop in before leaving for their homes.