FORMER South African president Jacob Zuma’s lawyer Michael Hulley has joined Zimbabwean businessman Frank Buyanga’s legal team, as he fights for his freedom from jail.
Buyanga, who has been in prison since November last year, will be back in court later this month when his trial over alleged immigration violations in that country commences.
Hulley’s role in the case emerged this week when the Hamilton Foundation, which Buyanga chairs, issued a statement demanding that the South African Police Services (SAPS) retracts allegations that the businessman intended to escape from a Johannesburg Prison last month. On April 16, the SAPS issued a statement saying a detective constable had been arrested on charges of defeating the ends of justice after trying to allegedly book out the Zimbabwean businessman from prison. This prompted his lawyers to write to the police demanding a retraction, saying Buyanga was afforded no opportunity to be interviewed by the SAPS.
“This is reckless and premature behaviour from SAPS to place this inferred accusation on Mr Buyanga without any proper and lawful investigations prior to publishing this information. It must be noted that at the time of this alleged incident, Mr Buyanga was present at the legal consulting rooms of the prison with his legal representative, Mr Michael Hulley,” reads the letter from Nardus Grove Attorneys.
Hulley was Zuma's attorney and represented him for several years and was also one of the former president’s closest confidantes.
In the letter, the attorneys said the SAPS should have approached Buyanga in the presence of Hulley to afford him the opportunity to give a right of reply.
“SAPS decided to play the unlikely role of the media to inform the public in a manner not congruent to the press code and failed to investigate — a role which is mandated and bestowed upon them by legislation. The media’s role overshadowed SAPS’ proper role to afford the Audi Alterum Partum benefit to Mr Buyanga," the letter said.
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