Hundreds of supporters cheered Jacob Zuma, the leader of South Africa's ruling ANC party, as he entered court Monday, to try to win dismissal of a corruption case that could hurt his chances of becoming the nation's president next year.
Zuma was charged in December with racketeering, corruption, money laundering fraud. He is expected to file an application in the High Court challenging the state's decision to prosecute him.
This is the second time the state has attempted to prosecute Zuma for corruption. In 2006, a judge struck a case against Zuma from the rolls.
A police spokeswoman said extra police forces have been deployed to the town of Pietermaritzburg where the trial is to take place, as Zuma's supporters continue to arrive.
The case is likely to decide whether Zuma will succeed Thabo Mbeki as South African president in 2009.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.