Former Zuma advocate Kemp J Kemp succumbs to Covid-19

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Advocate Kemp J Kemp
Advocate Kemp J Kemp
Simphiwe Mbokazi, News24
  • Advocate Kemp J Kemp, SC, died during the course of Tuesday night.
  • Kemp was well known for successfully defending former president Jacob Zuma during his rape trial in 2006.
  • Kemp died of Covid-19 complications after being discharged from hospital.

Advocate Kemp J Kemp, SC, a well-known lawyer, died during the course of Tuesday night.

Kemp was raised in Kirkwood in the Eastern Cape, before moving to Durban in 1980, according to the South African. He completed an LLB (cum laude) at the University of Port Elizabeth and completed a doctorate in law. He was a member of the Society of Advocates of KwaZulu-Natal.

Barry Skinner, chairperson of the KwaZulu-Natal Bar, confirmed Kemp's death to News24. 

It is understood the advocate had been recovering from Covid-19 at the time of his death. According to Skinner, he had been discharged from hospital and was staying with friends.

READ | OBITUARY: Advocate Kemp J Kemp, Zuma's long-time lawyer, dies at the age of 69

Skinner described Kemp as "one of the real characters of the Bar".

"He was brilliant in his field, but he was a very humble person and always open to helping people. He will be hugely missed."

Kemp is arguably best known for successfully defending former president Jacob Zuma during his rape trial in 2006.

Kemp's use of the Stalingrad strategy – wearing down the plaintiff by fighting anything the plaintiff brings before court – is still lauded in legal circles.

READ | Zuma stay of prosecution the end of Stalingrad, or are the biggest bombshells about to explode

At the time, Kemp said: "This is not a battle where you send a champion out and have a little fight and that's it – this is more like we will fight them in every room, in every street, in every house."

As part of Zuma's legal team, Kemp also had the case against Zuma and arms company Thint struck from the roll when the prosecution was not ready to proceed.

Kemp pulled out of Zuma's legal team in 2018 after the former president reportedly ran out of money to pay his legal team, according to EWN.

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