Jacob Zuma sacks lawyer Daniel Mantsha, ropes in Eric Mabuza

The firing of Mantsha comes at a time Zuma is preparing for his corruption trial, which is expected to get under way at the Pietermaritzburg High Court next month.

Daniel Mantsha and Muzi Sikhakhane, both representing former President Jacob Zuma, at the state capture commission on 17 July 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – Former President Jacob Zuma has fired his lawyer Daniel Mantsha with immediate effect, his foundation announced on Sunday.

Mantsha has been the former statesman’s attorney since 2018, working closely with the former president on his legal woes.

The firing comes at a time Zuma is preparing for his corruption trial, which is expected to get under way at the Pietermaritzburg High Court next month.

Mantsha will be replaced by Eric Mabuza, who recently represented the Gauteng Liquor Board against the government.

Zuma said it’s unfortunate that his working relationship with Mantsha has come to end, but the move was necessary.

The former president has retained the services of Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane as lead counsel in the matter.

He says sikhakhane has been tasked with assembling a multi-skilled team that will advise and assist the former president “in the biggest trial of his life”.

The former president also denies the state’s accusations that he is delaying his day in court by adopting Stalingrad tactics.

Mabuza was not immediately available for comment.