Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Zuma’s lawyers call for his acquittal

The defence in the Jacob Zuma rape trial has asked the Johannesburg High Court to acquit the former deputy president because his rape accuser conceded under cross-examination that Zuma could have thought she was consenting to sex. Kemp J Kemp resumed his argument this morning in his application to have the case thrown out. Kemp also asked Judge Willem van der Merwe to consider that the facts before the court show no signs of overbearing or badgering on Zuma's part during the incident at his Johannesburg home last year. Zuma has pleaded not guilty to the charge of raping a 31-year-old family friend. In another development the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has voiced its concerns about the goings-on outside the Johannesburg High Court. Tension ran high between Zuma supporters and women’s rights activists yesterday and groups had to be separated by police at times. ANC spokesperson Mtholephi Mthimkhulu says the principle of presumption of innocence until proven guilty should be accepted and that the complainant should state her case without interference. He has urged all parties concerned to allow the judicial process to take its course.

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