Durban – Under pressure ahead of his much-anticipated return to the Pietermaritzburg High Court on May 6, former president Jacob Zuma has bolstered his legal team by bringing in seasoned Johannesburg-based lawyer Eric Mabuza.
The appointment of Mabuza, who has represented former SARS boss Tom Moyane and former Old Mutual boss Peter Moyo, comes after a string of legal setbacks for Zuma.
While it was not clear whether Dan Mantsha has been fired or is still part of the legal team, Mabuza did confirm to Independent Media on Sunday that he has been roped in to work for Zuma.
“Yes it’s true (that I have joined Zuma’s legal team),” Mabuza said briefly when asked about the news.
The bolstering of the legal team is expected to help Zuma to fend off his long arms deal corruption case which he is trying to get quashed at the Constitutional Court after the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal.
The Jacob Zuma Foundation, which according to some reports announced the changes and that Mantsha has been sacked, has not responded to questions about the matter.
Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane SC said queries about who is still part of the legal team should be directed to Mabuza.
“Please contact Eric Mabuza, the attorney. I think they issued a statement which is clear on who has left the team and who has been terminated,” he said.
Meanwhile the foundation says Zuma is eager to use the trial as a means to provide clarity on who benefitted from the Arms Deal.
“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 benefited from the alleged Arms Deal corruption,” the statement from the foundation read. IOL