JZ Trust changes its focus

President Jacob Zuma's backers in black economic empowerment circles are planning to breathe new life into the Friends of Jacob Zuma Trust.

The fund, which was originally formed to raise R12million to foot Zuma's legal bill, is sitting with money that was not used when the government agreed to pay R10million for Zuma's legal fees.

Founder and chairperson of the FJZ Trust, Don Mkhwanazi, told Sowetan

there was money in the fund and that its trustees would meet to decide on the future of the fund.

"That money was raised by ordinary people, it does not belong to us. And they will want to know how it was used," he said.

He also said there were no plans to destroy the structures set up to support Zuma after he was fired in 2005.

"We might reconfigure their composition and their mandates, but these structures remain relevant and can play a role in assisting Zuma in his quest to create jobs and work opportunities."

He said the trust could play the same role as the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund in raising funds for Zuma's various charity programmes.

"One would expect ordinary people to call Zuma's office everyday once the hotline is established, and the Presidency might not deal with some small requests from poor villagers with the necessary speed. That's where the trust can jump in and assist."