It will likely go down as one of the most unforgettable ironies in recent memory – advocate Dali Mpofu joining former president Jacob Zuma’s defence team in the arms deal trial.

Having been chairperson of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which had been one of Zuma’s most fiercest critics who’d called for him to be jailed (over several matters, including the Gupta leaks and the arms deal), Mpofu may end up being the reason he never dons orange overalls.

While he no longer serves the EFF in Parliament, he remains in the party. For quite some time, Mpofu has extended his legal services to people he’s had political differences with, or at least the EFF. The likes of Gareth Cliff (who isn’t exactly an EFF favourite), Public Works Minister Patricia De Lille and Thandi Modise have all been represented by Mpofu in their respective court cases.

However despite the aforementioned, nothing could have prepared South Africans for the big shocker that was Mpofu joining Zuma’s legal team, something which the advocate confirmed in the High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday, 26 May 2021.

The former president faces 16 charges of fraud, racketeering and money laundering, in connection with the arms deal from the 1990s, when he was still KwaZulu-Natal’s Economic Development MEC.

South African Twitter has been flooding the timeline, in reaction to advocate Dali Mpofu being the latest addition to former president Jacob Zuma’s lawyers, after some of then withdrew from the arms deal trial at the eleventh hour.

The comments even prompted the EFF’s own deputy president Floyd Shivambu to come to Mpofu’s defence.

“It is (advocate Dali Mpofu’s) right to legally represent whoever he chooses to represent. He’s represented CR17 factions, Thandi Modise, Supra Mahumapelo, Patricia De Lille, Bantu Holomisa’s UDM, Ace Magashule. He’s not doing so on behalf of the EFF. He’s doing it as an Advocate SC,” Shivambu said on Twitter.

Here’s what some had to say about the matter.

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Presh JM Reporter

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