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Zuma ready for trial as health improves, says new lawyer Mabuza

Jacob Zuma revealed on Sunday that he fired his defence attorney Daniel Mantsha and hired Eric Mabuza.

Former President Jacob Zuma arrives at OR Tambo International Airport on 22 February 2020. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/ EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Former President Jacob Zuma’s lawyer Eric Mabuza has told Eyewitness News that the former president’s health has improved, and he was ready for his corruption trial.

Zuma revealed on Sunday that he fired his defence attorney Daniel Mantsha and hired Mabuza.

The former president said he did this because he wanted to focus on the preparation of his trial.

He is expected back in the Pietermaritzburg High Court next month and has a suspended arrest warrant hanging over his head after he failed to appear in his last hearing stating ill health.

When Zuma failed to appear in the High Court in February, his lawyers said he was sick and presented a sick note as evidence that Zuma was unwell.

But the court rejected the note, questioning its validity.

A few days later, the frail-looking former president arrived to a rousing welcome at OR Tambo International Airport from Cuba, where he was receiving treatment.

His new lawyer Mabuza said Zuma was now doing well.

He said all the former president wanted was for the trial to start so he could clear his name.