Jacob Zuma fires lawyer, hires new legal team for ‘biggest trial of his life’

 Jacob Zuma fires lawyer, hires new legal team for ‘biggest trial of his life’

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Former
president Jacob Zuma has sacked Daniel Mantsha, his lawyer of two years, and
will be heading to his long-awaited corruption trial with Mabuza Attorneys, the
JG Zuma Foundation said on Sunday.

“The
JG Zuma Foundation announces that former president Jacob Zuma has decided to
terminate the mandate of his attorney of record, Daniel Mantsha of Lugisani
Mantsha Attorneys, with immediate effect.”

Mantsha had
represented Zuma since 2018, the foundation said. “During
this period, he has worked very hard, with dedication to ensure that the
defence team succeeds in its work. We would like to thank him for his efforts
thus far and wish him well in his future endeavours.

“Former
president Zuma has unfortunately come to the conclusion that it is in his best
interests to part ways with Mr Mantsha at this stage so that he can focus more
on the preparation for the trial.”

READ | NPA describes Zuma’s latest bid to halt corruption case as hopeless – report

Mantsha
would be replaced by Mabuza Attorneys, who would be responsible for all
preparation ahead of Zuma’s much-awaited trial.

Zuma
wants to dispel ‘tired narrative’

Zuma has
retained the services of top advocate Muzi Sikhakhane SC as the lead counsel in
the matter and “expresses his unreserved trust and confidence in him and
his team of counsel”.

According
to the statement by the foundation, Sikhakhane was briefed to assemble a
multi-skilled legal team to advise and assist Zuma “in preparing for the
biggest trial of his life”.

Zuma also
wants to “dispel the much repeated and tired narrative” suggesting he
tried to avoid his day in court by adopting Stalingrad tactics, the statement
reads.

READ | SCA dismisses Zuma’s stay of prosecution application – report

“To
this end, Sikhakhane SC and his team will also be advising and assisting former
president Zuma to decisively deal with the long-standing speculation about his
involvement in Arms Deal corruption.

“Former
president Zuma therefore welcomes the opportunity that the upcoming trial will
create for South Africans to get much needed certainty about the bona fides of
the State’s case against him, as well as shed light on the much needed
certainty as to who exactly benefitted from the alleged Arms Deal corruption.”

On 4
February, Mantsha could not prevent the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg
from issuing a stayed warrant of arrest against Zuma.

He had
argued that the former president was being persecuted.



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