Zuma trust still raising money

Despite the fact that Jacob Zuma has asked the state to pay his legal costs during his corruption trial, the Friends of Jacob Zuma Trust is still raising money for South Africa’s former deputy president, with the same objective.

Barnabas Xulu, spokesperson for the board of trustees, told the Mail & Guardian Online on Wednesday: ”The trust does not have an indication as to when the decision by the state is going to be made and what conditions are going to be attached thereof.

”Until such time that it’s clear, we will not stop to raise funds for the deputy president of the ANC [African National Congress].”

Zuma is still deputy president of the ANC.

Xulu could not divulge the amount of money the trust has raised so far, but said: ”The trustees resolved that they will release all financial statements quarterly.”

The trust is receiving ”sufficient support”, he said. ”We are not sure how much it is, but it is a lot.”

Xulu would not say what would happen with the money raised by the trust should the state decide to pay all of Zuma’s legal costs.

Last week, Zuma asked the state to pay the legal costs for his corruption trial. The state already paid for a group of Zuma’s legal representatives at his former financial adviser Schabir Shaik’s fraud and corruption trial.

But the state is still deciding on the matter.

”No new developments around this issue are known,” ANC spokesperson Smuts Ngonyama told the M&G Online this week.

On July 13, the trust was registered with the master of the Supreme Court.

Since then, it has been raising money via an SMS number, 36045. If people send ”Zuma” to this number, they contribute R5 to the fund.

Besides the SMS service, ”we have a bank account and we have various fund-raising activities”, said Xulu.

According to the trust’s website, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and its affiliates, as well as business and civil society groups started the idea of the trust.

It says members of the board of trustees are Don Mkhwanazi, Fikile Slovo Majola and Sizwe Shezi. Other stakeholders and organisations may be given representation on the board at a later date.

On the net

Friends of Jacob Zuma Trust

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Elvira Van Noort
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