By Faith Nyasuguta
Ex-South African President Jacob Zuma has called on the public to donate money to support his legal fees in a corruption case involving a $5 billion arms deal.
Via Twitter, his foundation’s official page called on South Africans and the world at large to help the ex-leader cover his legal fees.
“Dear People of South Africa and the world. Please lend a helping hand…We humbly request for donations support to help cover the legal fees of our patron,” it said.
The post went ahead to include bank account details in the name of JG Zuma.
Since July, Zuma has been serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court after failing to appear at a separate inquiry on matters of corruption. His surrender to the police sparked protests in South Africa.
Despite trial for the arms deal case set for early this month, Zuma fell ill and was admitted to the hospital, delaying the start of the case that also includes fraud and racketeering.
The trial will proceed in September. He pleaded not guilty and alleged that the trial is politically motivated.
Zuma currently faces 16 counts of fraud, graft and racketeering tied to the 1999 purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats among other equipment from some five European arsenal firms when he was deputy president.
Further, he allegedly took bribes from one of the firms, the French defense giant Thales, which also faces corruption charges. The firm also pleaded not guilty.
The hearing started in May after a string of numerous postponements and delays, even as Zuma’s legal team battled to have the charges dropped.