EDITORIAL | Zuma can play games, but ConCourt makes the rules
The withdrawal of his lawyers from his corruption case presents another opportunity for Stalingrad tactics
We’ve seen this movie before. Former president Jacob Zuma’s lawyers on Wednesday withdrew their services in his corruption trial in the Pietermaritzburg High Court. The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) insisted the state remained ready to proceed with the trial in May. But of course this creates another opportunity for Zuma to delay the matter.
This development comes the same month the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) closed the taps on state funding for his legal woes. Zuma lost an appeal against a high court judgment that found the state was not liable for his legal costs. In December 2018, the North Gauteng High Court made a personal costs order against him when he turned to the courts to review then public protector Thuli Madonsela’s “State of Capture” report. The state capture inquiry, chaired by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, was born as a direct result of that report.
Zuma has gone to court so many times, it must have become impossible to foot the legal bills, even with support from resourceful friends. Between 2014 and 2018 alone there were 41 judgments involving him, and that excludes the disputes that became part of the broader state capture story. ..