Former president Jacob Zuma’s Stalingrad strategy related to the arms deal trial continues. And boy, is it exhausting. He appeared at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Wednesday as scheduled, saying he would plead not guilty to the charges of corruption, fraud and racketeering. In Zuma’s ongoing game of legal musical chairs, he is now being represented by Advocate Dali Mpofu, former National Chairperson of the EFF.
So you can expect loads of delaying tactics, first of which is his ongoing attempt to get state prosecutor Billy Downer to recuse himself. Zuma submitted a 140-page plea explanation last week arguing that Downer is biased and should recuse himself, but wait there was more! Zuma said if his plea is accepted, then he, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, is entitled to be acquitted from the charges altogether. It’s a long long circus, really.
Meanwhile the ANC’s National Working Committee this week asked the National Presenter (like the party’s prosecutor) to investigate Ace Magashule, Tony Yengeni and Carl Niehaus for supporting Zuma during his court appearances. The NWC condemned the members’ “unbecoming, divisive and defiant behaviour”.
This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 15 April 2021. Sign up to receive our weekly updates