Kemp J Kemp says why he stands by JZ

Jacob Zuma's counsel, Kemp J Kemp, arriving at the Johannesburg High Court for Zuma's rape trial. Pic. Len Kumalo. 04/04/06. © Sowetan.
Jacob Zuma's counsel, Kemp J Kemp, arriving at the Johannesburg High Court for Zuma's rape trial. Pic. Len Kumalo. 04/04/06. © Sowetan.

A Durban high court judge queried Jacob Zuma's defence team yesterday over its efforts to stop the retrieval of documents from Mauritius that might relate to arms deal corruption.

A Durban high court judge queried Jacob Zuma's defence team yesterday over its efforts to stop the retrieval of documents from Mauritius that might relate to arms deal corruption.

Judge Jan Hugo asked Zuma's advocate Kemp J Kemp: "If a person professes his innocence, then why go to all these lengths to prevent this evidence from being obtained?"

Kemp replied: "We think it is important. This is not like a fight between two champ fighters. This is more like Stalingrad. It's burning house to burning house."

Hugo was presiding over a National Prosecuting Authority application asking authorities in Mauritius to release documents to be executed, pending the outcome of an appeal in September.

Judge Philip Levensohn granted a "letter of authorisation" for the documents in April, but Thint and Zuma obtained leave to appeal against the letter being executed.

The appeal is expected to be heard before the supreme court of appeals on September 21.

Kemp told Hugo: "If I can keep the evidence out, it is my duty to do that. If it advances the accused's battle plan why should we give that up?" Both legal teams - that of Zuma and of French arms manufacturer Thint - argued that the granting of the execution order would not be "just and equitable".

The documents the NPA seeks include the diary of former Thint chief executive Alain Thetard.

They allegedly prove there were meetings where Zuma, convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik and Thetard discussed a R500000-a-year bribe for Zuma.

Kemp said: "If the order is granted, all they will have scored is four months."- Sapa

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