As of Monday, May 20, crowds supporting former President Jacob Zuma have gathered outside the Pietermaritzburg division of the KwaZulu-Natal High Court, where he is facing corruption charges related to a decades-old arms deal. The hearing is expected to last until Wednesday, May 23; as such, further related gatherings are likely to take place in the coming days. An increased security presence, along with localised transportation disruptions are to be anticipated in the coming days.
Zuma was deputy president at the time of the 1990s arms deal. Charges were filed against Zuma but then dropped by national prosecutors shortly before he successfully ran for president in 2009. Since his election nine years ago, his opponents have fought to have the charges reinstated. Zuma countered with his own legal challenges but prosecutors re-filed the charges after Zuma was forced from power by his own party in February 2018.
Individuals present in Pietermaritzburg are advised to monitor developments to the situation and avoid all demonstrations as violence can break out with little to no warning.
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