South Africa

'Who in hell did we offend to deserve this horror show?' — SA weighs in on Dali Mpofu's Zuma defence

'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: