NPA denies wrongdoing in raid on Zuma's attorney

The National Prosecuting Authority on Wednesday denied any wrongdoing in the raid on a former attorney of Jacob Zuma.

The NPA told the Johannesburg High Court that it had strictly adhered to its ruling Act in obtaining a search warrant for and executing the warrant at the office and home of Julekha Mahomed.

Challenged by judge Ismail Hussein on whether the judge who granted the warrant had known that the attorney’s premises would be searched, the NPA said he did beyond doubt.

“In your affidavit you referred to her as ‘Zuma’s legal assistant’,” Hussein said.

“How was the presiding judge to know she is a practising attorney?”

The NPA said it had not intentionally tried to hide the fact that Mahomed was an attorney.

Referring to her as the legal assistant was an “unintended mistake”.

The NPA also refuted Mahomed’s claim that she was not aware of her rights during the search.

She claimed she did not know she could claim attorney-client privilege in respect of documents seized.

“How can an attorney not know her rights?” the NPA’s legal representative asked.

He said when Mahomed claimed privilege halfway through the search, the documents were sealed and handed to the registrar of the high court.

Mahomed’s counsel said the terms of the search warrant were so broad that the NPA could have seized anything belonging to her.

This was an indication that they were on a “fishing expedition” and did not have any concrete evidence.

Mahomed claimed that her right to privacy, dignity and to freely practise her profession had been violated by the August 18 raids.

Mahomed wants the search warrant to be set aside and all documents returned to her.

The hearing continues. - Sapa


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