'Who in hell did we offend to deserve this horror show?' — SA weighs in on Dali Mpofu's Zuma defence
Advocate Dali Mpofu’s arguments on behalf of former president Jacob Zuma saw him top the Twitter trends list on Tuesday.
Mpofu represented Zuma in the Pietermaritzburg High Court for a special plea hearing in his arms deal corruption case.
Zuma faces fraud, graft and racketeering charges related to the 1999 arms deal.
He was not present in court as his lawyers argued that he is sick, despite the legal team appointed by the state saying he is fit to stand trial.
Mpofu accused the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) of being “vultures” and allegedly harassing the former president.
He slammed the NPA for insisting on examining Zuma before doctors completed their report.
Mpofu said state prosecutor Billy Downer, who Zuma wants removed from the case, was eager to prosecute the former president.
He told the court Zuma believed his right to a fair trial would be jeopardised as Downer was not impartial and was driven by a political motive
He said Downer was a witness against Zuma when the DA called for a review after the NPA did not want to pursue charges against the former president.
Mpofu also said there was no need for NPA doctors to examine Zuma.
“Anyone who reads the affidavit will be clear that the entitlement to even ask for medical examination would only arise after the medical report had been completed,” said Mpofu
“The mere threat to conduct such an examination prematurely with no legal title, that was prosecutorial misconduct of the first order. This issue is not just about privacy, it also has national security implications because we are talking about a former head of state here.” .
On social media, many expressed their views on Mpofu’s argument. Some praised him, while others suggested his argument was “weak”
Here is a snapshot of some reactions:
Round 1— Mzwanele Manyi (@MzwaneleManyi) September 21, 2021
Verdict = It's not ripe to submit medical records. Doctors have still not made a view whether H.E Prez Zuma is fit or not to be physically present. But he has waived his rights subject to consultation arrangements with his lawyers during trial.
Mpofu SC: 1
Trengove SC: 0 pic.twitter.com/hRQaFrDiUz
Dali Mpofu remains that one lawyer who travels the road less travelled. You have my respect sir .— Zama Zat Zikhali (@Mkabayi_lo) September 17, 2021
Adv Dali Mpofu SC mopped the flow with NPA Lawyer Wim Trengove. Judge Keon is a sober Judge. I hope young lawyers are taking notes! pic.twitter.com/oIaKMjygTy— TJs CV Revamp Team (@Taletso13) September 21, 2021
Mpofu argued a month ago for Zuma’s right to appear in court in person whilst he was in jail . He’s paroled now. Mpofu now says he doesn’t have to be there. Who in hell did we offend to deserve this horror show.— Kgomotso Moeketsi (@KGMoeketsi) September 21, 2021
I must also say Dali Mpofu SC is a tireless advocate. He never gets tired of trying. He never gets tired of losing.— Songezo Zibi (@SongezoZibi) September 21, 2021
Dali Mpofu says a prosecutor must be impartial. 🤣🤣🤣🤣— African Renaissance🦅🇿🇦🦁 (@MadiBoity) September 21, 2021
Prosecutors can never be impartial as they must send you to jail. Hence, they are in courts.
Mpofu forgot that they objected to zuma's matter proceeding in his absence a month ago, today he wants it to proceed; am I hearing him well bakgaetsho🤔🤔— HlatseSekgobela1 (@John_Hlatse) September 21, 2021
The tricky challenge for Adv Dali Mpofu is that *EVEN IF* he establishes relevant law that correctly tells us the criteria a prosecutor must meet in order to lawfully prosecute Mr Zuma, he must *STILL* prove the *FACTS* showing Billy Downer must be removed.— Eusebius McKaiser (@Eusebius) September 21, 2021
That's a tall order.