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Zuma's 'Stalingrad approach' to trial a myth, argues lawyer

On Thursday Jacob Zuma’s lawyer responded to the State's arguments for the dismissal of Zuma’s application for a stay of prosecution, saying that he had never intentionally dragged out the case to avoid having his day in court.

Former President Jacob Zuma at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on 21 May 2019. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Former President Jacob Zuma said that the so-called Stalingrad approach he’s been accused of employing over the years to avoid prosecution was nothing but a myth.

On Thursday Zuma’s lawyer Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane responded to the State's arguments for the dismissal of Zuma’s application for a stay of prosecution, saying that Zuma had never intentionally dragged out the case to avoid having his day in court.

Yesterday, the State told the Pietermaritzburg High Court that Zuma was partly responsible for his trial delays.

The term "Stalingrad approach" was used by Jacob Zuma’s former advocate, Kemp J Kemp, to describe how the former president was determined to use every loophole and legal option available to fight his prosecution.

The term is now arguably synonymous with the former president but his lawyer Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane said it was just a theory.

"The grand narrative we've been fed with for a long time, the Stalingrad, you're not giving evidence, no one gives you evidence. What is this Stalingrad?"

He said the idea that former NPA head Mokotedi Mphse, who dropped charges against Zuma, was an ally of the former president, was also a myth.

"We believe it's another grand theory. 'When Mr Mpshe made this decision, he did it because he is a Zuma-ite'. That's not evidence, that's speculation."

He said that Zuma could not be blamed for Mpshe’s irrational decision.

WATCH: Trengove: Zuma can't complain about trial delays

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