Linear dichroism has been measured in the broad absorption band of the EL2 defect in GaAs under uniaxial stress. In addition, the splittings of the EL2 zero phonon line (ZPL) at 8378 cm-1 under uniaxial stress applied along , , and  directions have been measured. Splitting of the ZPL under  stress is over one order of magnitude smaller than under  stress, on the other hand, the linear dichroism in the broad absorption band is roughly equal for these two directions of stress. This is an evidence for the quenching of the coupling to tetragonal strains due to interaction with trigonal modes of the lattice (the Ham effect). Therefore, it is established, that the excited T2 state of EL2 is a localized state subject to dynamical Jahn-Teller coupling to trigonal modes of the lattice. The possibility that the excited T2 state has hydrogenic nature associated with the L minima is ruled out by the present results. The observed splittings of the ZPL together with polarization selection rules clearly indicate the tetrahedral Td symmetry of the EL2 defect ruling out any other point group in particular trigonal C3v In view of the presented experimental results, their interpretation, and recent theoretical investigations, the isolated arsenic antisite AsGa most successfully accounts for the properties of the neutral charge state of the EL2 defect.