Malindi: Why I broke down in court

2012-05-24 14:05

President Jacob Zuma’s advocate Gcina Malindi says his emotional breakdown in court “shouldn’t have happened”.

“I’m an advocate and I work under ethical rules that we don’t comment on a case in which we are involved,” he said.

“But you can say I broke down. As a former activist it brought back those issues, which was why I was overwhelmed.”

Malindi was representing Zuma, the ANC and Zuma’s children in their urgent application against the Goodman Gallery, City Press, and artist Brett Murray, to have the portrait, The Spear, declared unlawful.

He broke down and cried after a particularly gruelling round of questioning by Judge Neels Claassen, relating to the racialisation of the case.

“As an advocate I am supposed to have control of my emotions and it is unfortunate that this happened,” Malindi said after the matter was adjourned.

“I was just overcome by emotions and there is a history to it as a former activist. As an advocate we are supposed to be trained not to be emotional when we appear in court. It’s not something I want to talk about now,” he said. When asked if he would be able to continue working on the case, Malindi said: “I am certain that I can manage that.” The matter was postponed to a date still to be decided. The case will be set down for three days, which will allow enough time for all parties to present their arguments. Claassen and his fellow judges, Fayeeza Kathree-Setiloane and Lucy Mailula, ruled that footage of Malindi’s breakdown could not be shown on television, “both locally and abroad”.

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