Zuma’s lost his lawyers

Staff Writer | Apr 06, 2019
Jacob Zuma has lost two of his legal representatives. Has this something to do with a court's decision that an agreement for the state to cover Zuma's legal costs was invalid?

Jacob Zuma's battle to avoid spending about a long time behind bars for alleged corruption was dealt a fresh blow after losing two of his best legal brains. (Jacob Zuma suffers fresh blow as top advocates leave case against NPA, BL Premium, Karyn Maughan, 5 April 2019)

Neither senior advocate Mike Hellens nor advocate Dawie Joubert will continue acting for Zuma, who is seeking permanent stay of prosecution against corruption charges linked to the arms deal of the 1990s.

Zuma has been  struggling to maintain his expensive team of lawyers since losing access to state funding. Zuma has been accused of using a “Stalingrad” defence, by deploying legal diversion to stop his prosecution on charges of corruption, fraud, racketeering and money laundering.

Hellens referred all questions to Zuma’s attorney Daniel Mantsha, who declined to comment on the reasons for Hellens's and Joubert’s exit.

The High Court has ruled that an agreement for the state to cover Zuma's legal costs was invalid, and ordered him to repay millions of rands of taxpayer money used for more than a decade.

Zuma hit out at this decision, which he said was part of a deliberate strategy to stop him from fighting his case.

He has also taken issue with the state hiring some of SA's most high-profile lawyers to argue its case against him. The NPA's team includes advocates Wim Trengove, Andrew Breytenbach and Gilbert Marcus.

Zuma maintains that he has suffered politically motivated mistreatment at the hands of the NPA and that failure to charge him 15 years ago denied him the opportunity to defend himself against charges that he had been corrupted by Shaik.

While the hypocrisy mounts, so too do the costs.


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