Zuma realises his conspiracy theories don't stand up to scrutiny - Trengove

Advocate Wim Trengove has accused Jacob Zuma of relying on 'conspiracies and conjecture' in his submissions to have lead prosecutor Billy Downer removed from his fraud and corruption trial.

FILE: Former South African President Jacob Zuma stands in the dock during the recess of his corruption trial at the Pietermaritzburg High Court in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, on 26 May 2021. Picture: Phill Magakoe/AFP

CAPE TOWN - It’s been argued in the Jacob Zuma and Thales trial that counsel for the defence had failed to make a case for the removal of lead prosecutor Billy Downer.

Counsel for Downer, Advocate Wim Trengove, has accused Zuma of relying on “conspiracies and conjecture” in his submissions.

Zuma’s special plea to have Downer removed from prosecution continued on Wednesday in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

Zuma and French company, Thales, are charged with corruption in connection with the arms deal.

Trengove said that former President Jacob Zuma had realised that his conspiracies did not stand up to scrutiny.

This was after Zuma asked the court for yet another separate hearing, or a judicial initiated inquiry, to see whether he had a “special defence”.

“He realises that his conspiracy theories do not stand up against the credible first-hand refutation of these conspiracy theories and therefore he asks for a fresh judicially initiated inquiry into the question to whether he has a special defence. Now it’s a process that is unheard of in our law,” Trengove said.

Zuma’s lawyer, Advocate Dali Mpofu, disagreed with Trengove, saying that Zuma had a right to call for another inquiry into his special defence where he could cross-examine Downer.

“Even if it’s unheard of to Mr Trengove, but it’s here,” Mpofu said.

The special plea will wrap up on Wednesday after two days of arguments.

WATCH: Jacob Zuma corruption trial continues

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