- Zuma fired his long-serving lawyer Michal Hulley two-weeks ago
- Daniel Mantsha was personally selected by Zuma to replace Hulley
- Mantashe was struck off the roll in 2007 and is accused of being a Gupta foot soldier
Daniel Mantsha has taken on what is probably the most publicised criminal court case in the country. Mantsha will serve as Jacob Zuma’s new lawyer after the former president fired his long-serving lawyer Michael Hulley two-weeks ago for as yet undisclosed reasons.
Mantsha has had a chequered and somewhat colourful career filled with almost as much scandal and self-inflicted controversies as his new client.
He was struck off the roll of attorneys in 2007 after several of his previous clients made a series of allegations against him. The court found that Mantsha was not fit to practice law and actually noted that the public should be protected from him.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Mantsha successfully reapplied to be allowed to serve as an attorney in 2011. He passed the next couple of years in relative anonymity before bursting onto the political scene in 2015.
It is also thought by observers that Mantsha was introduced to the Gupta family during 2015.
During that same year, Mantsha was appointed as a special adviser to the then minister of communications Faith Muthambi. He also managed to be appointed as the chairperson of state-owned arms manufacturer Denel.
Dailymaverick.co.za reported that Lynne Brown (the then minister of public enterprises) described Mantsha as an attorney with a vast store of experience in corporate finance, business management and commercial law.
Brown neglected to mention that a court had found Mantsha to be a danger to the public.
Damningly for Mantsha, the so-called #Guptaleaks emails showed that he was one of the loyalist of the foot soldiers working for the family to take control of the Zuma-led government.
The documents show that Mantsha was not only singled out by the family as having potential, but also personally moulded by the Guptas into an inside man.
Mantsha was promptly removed from the Denel board when Pravin Gordhan was appointed to his current role of public enterprises minister. Mantsha decided to reopen his law firm after being left in the cold by the new clean anti-Gupta government.
It did not take long for Mantsha to find a high-profile client for his fledgling new law firm. He will take the reigns from Michael Hulley who served as Zuma's legal representative for 12 years.
Mantsha will make his first appearance as Zuma’s lawyer when they appear in court on 27 July.
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