Speaker’s legal team argues ‘innocent until proven guilty’ principle

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Legal counsel for National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says an arrest affected against her would undermine the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ principle.

The Speaker is seeking to interdict the State from effecting an arrest against her.

Court proceedings below:

This amid corruption allegations levelled against her during her tenure as Defence Minister.

The judge hearing the matter however probed counsel on whether persons should not be arrested simply based on this principle. Advocate Graham Kerr-Phillips, however, added that on the merits of this case, it would be an infringement of the principle.

“One of the fundamental admissions the (respondents) make in their affidavit is they concede that it’s common cause that the applicant has a right to be presumed innocent. Now, an act of arrest if one looks at the requirement of arrest, reasonable suspicions would suggest that actually, you’re not so innocent. So, on the one hand they say yes, you’re innocent. We do believe that you are innocent and in the very next breath they are taking a step which would indicate that they’re not applying on this case on the facts available to my lady.”