Nelson Chamisa’s lead lawyer in the Constitutional Court hearing into his election petition has argued that they were dealing with an uncooperative and hostile system. Mpofu gave examples of how the registrar of the Constitutional Court and the Sheriff refused to comply with their requests. In an interview with Newsday, Mpofu said,
We had an uncooperative and hostile system to contend with, you know what the sheriffs did on instructions. You know the complaint that we had with the registrar refusing to accept process. If you go to court with a subpoena, nobody should ask you why you are issuing the subpoena, it just should be issued. It is for the person who has been subpoenaed to then object when they come before a court, so the subpoena must be issued. The person must come to court, if there is an objection, they must raise it. We cannot have a system which says to a litigant you can’t issue legal process. One thing that is completely unacceptable, much the same way you cannot have a system which says you instruct the sheriff to issue service and he deliberately doesn’t do so, and he tells you he was ordered not to do so. He had eight hours within which to effect service, and he completely refused. It’s totally objectionable. So that is the kind of system that we had to come up against, not only did we do our best.
So before the case, we had a case management meeting and the Chief Justice had indicated that no application would be heard at courts on the hearing day. If any application was heard, it would be dismissed. So technically, when we went to court on that day, we had an option of making an application to have the registrar compelled to issue the subpoena, but we knew that it would be dismissed, because clearly that is what we had been told. So we knew the state of that application and also we knew that it was clear that the registrar had refused to issue the subpoena, which would’ve told the truth, a truth which would have declared Chamisa as the winner,