Publication: Mail and Guardian
Reporter: Giordano Stolley
Top Legal Minds in Court for Zuma Trial
Mail and Guardian
Three of the country's top legal minds will face off in the Pietermaritzburg
High Court on Tuesday in the corruption trial of former deputy president Jacob
While Zuma believes his case should be thrown out of court, the
state is arguing that he should stand trial -- if only to clear his name and prevent "clouds of suspicion" hanging
over the man who could be elected president.
Zuma claims he is the victim
of a political conspiracy and that the prosecution is politically motivated to
"investigate every aspect of my affairs, permanently stain my reputation and
remove me as a political role player".
It will be up to Judge Herbert
Msimang to decide whether to grant a permanent stay of prosecution or
postponement the matter to early next year.
Zuma, who is deputy president
of the ANC, faces two charges of corruption.
Thint is accused of having
offered him a bribe of R500 000 a year in exchange for his silence during a
probe into the country's multibillion-rand arms deal.
The three top
advocates in court will be: Kemp J Kemp for Zuma; Wim Trengove for the state;
and Kessie Naidu for Zuma's co-accused.
Kemp represented Zuma at his
trial on a rape charge, on which he was acquitted.
Kemp's tangled fringe
has earned the nickname "unkempt Kemp", but reports describe him as someone who
"slowly and meticulously picks his victims
Trengove convinced the Durban High Court earlier this year
to allow the state to confiscate R34-million in assets from Schabir Shaik --
Zuma's friend and former financial adviser.
Judge Hilary Squires found
Shaik had a "generally corrupt relationship" with Zuma.
A senior reporter
said of Trengove: "What he picks he usually
In 2005 he persuaded the Constitutional Court that the
state should be allowed to reopen the case against acquitted apartheid era germ
warfare expert Dr Wouter Basson.
Zuma's co-accused Thint, the South
African subsidiary of the French arms manufacturer Thales, is represented by
Naidu. Primarily a defence advocate, Naidu led evidence in the Hefer commission
into claims that former national director of public prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka
was an apartheid spy.
He prosecuted the three men involved in the Throb
nightclub disaster of 2000 which claimed the lives of 13 school children in
Pietermaritzburg is bracing itself for a flood of Zuma
supporters, policemen and journalists for the hearing, with a night vigil is
planned on Monday.
Several hotels and bed and breakfast establishments
reports increased occupancy, with those closest to the court booked
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a manager at the Victoria Inn:
"It's going to be packed out in the city centre [hotels]. We are fully booked with policemen."
Phindile Radebe said security would be tight. "Everything is in
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With acknowledgements to Giordano Stolley and Mail &