Zuma’s health not relevant, says his lawyer

NEWS ANALYSIS

When Jacob Zuma’s arms deal case resumed this week, his counsel said the former president’s health woes were not relevant, but it was the elephant in the courtroom, dwarfing legal argument that Billy Downer be removed as prosecutor and the former president acquitted.

Advocate Dali Mpofu SC decamped from his position earlier this month that should the state and the defence disagree on whether Zuma is fit to stand trial, there would be oral arguments on the matter. Alternatively, should his health improve, he had said, the court would use Tuesday and Wednesday to hear his special plea that Downer lacked the title to prosecute Zuma because he had displayed a lack of impartiality in the almost 20 years he has worked on the case.

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