During 75-year-old Jacob Zuma's 15-minute appearance at the Durban High Court, lawyers asked for the case to be adjourned until June 8 so submissions could be prepared. The ex-president faces charges of corruption, fraud, money laundering and racketeering.
Zuma, who resigned in February after losing the support of his party, the African National Congress (ANC), denies any wrongdoing. He has assured his supporters, who gathered in front of the court chanting "Hands off Zuma," that he would be proven innocent.
"The truth will come out. What have I done? I can't believe all the lies that are said about me. I am innocent until proven guilty," Zuma told the crowd.
Sixteen charges of corruption and fraud in connection with a 1990s arms deal were reinstated in 2016 after being dropped nearly a decade ago before Zuma ran for president. The former president is accused of taking bribes from France's weapons firm Thales at a time when he occupied the post of deputy president. The case prompted the opposition to repeatedly call for the resignation of the president. In December 2017, Cyril Ramaphosa replaced Zuma as the ANC leader and two months later he was forced to resign.