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Jacob Zuma set to finally have day in court

His supporters spent the night in the streets of Durban ahead of Friday’s appearance, making it clear that they will stand by their man all the way.

Former President Jacob Zuma greets ANC supporters outside late struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s home in Soweto. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN

DURBAN – The big day has arrived for former president Jacob Zuma, who is due in court in the next few hours.

His supporters spent the night in the streets of Durban ahead of Friday’s appearance, making it clear that they will stand by their man all the way.

Some of those who gathered last night arrived in African National Congress (ANC) regalia in defiance of a national executive committee position.

Zuma is expected to answer to charges of fraud, corruption and racketeering.

Religious organisations, traditional leaders, business forums, the Black First Land First movement and ANC members spent most of Thursday night praying to God to send his angels to Zuma as he sets foot in court for the first time this morning in over eight years.

Most of the supporters were clad in ANC t-shirts, some of them bearing the face of the former president.

They told Eyewitness News they would wear the same attire today regardless of the instruction from Luthuli House not to do so.

Durban authorities have indicated that law enforcement officers will be deployed in large numbers around the court.

WATCH: Night vigil held for Jacob Zuma

Zuma is only expected to appear in the dock for a few minutes this morning.

The matter is likely to be postponed for a pre-trial process and for the legal teams to determine the length of the trial.

It also appears as if Zuma has kept the same team of lawyers he’s had since his trial in 2005, which included senior counsel Kemp J Kemp and Michael Hulley.

Advocate Moipone Noko, who is the KZN director of public prosecutions, will be leading the State’s argument, alongside Billy Downer, who was instrumental in getting Schabir Shaik convicted.

Shaik was convicted to 15 years in prison for his involvement in facilitating a bribe Zuma from French arms manufacturer Thint in exchange for political protection during the investigation into the arms deal.