News / South Africa

Cheryl Kahla
Deputy Online News Editor
4 minute read
27 Oct 2021
5:34 am

Daily news update: Zuma loses court bid, Mabuyane vs Mkhwebane, budget statement delayed

Cheryl Kahla

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Picture File: Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Gallo Images/Volksblad/Mlungisi Louw

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Daily News Update, 27 October 2021

Zuma loses special-plea bid to have Downer recused from arms deal trial

The Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday dismissed former president Jacob Zuma’s application to have advocate Billy Downer recused from prosecuting his arms deal corruption trial.

Judge Piet Koen dismissed Zuma’s special-plea application and ordered that his corruption trial should proceed.

Zuma’s legal team had raised 14 grounds for Downer to be recused, but Koen dismissed them after finding that many of them were “based on speculation or suspicion or are based on inadmissible hearsay evidence and not on fact”.

“Even in limited instances, they might have at best qualify as possible irregularities, these irregularities were not as such to require Mr Downer ‘s removal as a prosecutor and did not deprive him of the title, even in the extended sense of that word contended for by Mr Zuma to prosecute,” he said.

Mabuyane vs Mkhwebane: High court grants EC premier relief to interdict PP’s report

Mabuyane interdict application
Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane. Picture: Gallo Images/The Times/Masi Losi

Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane has been granted relief by the Bhisho High Court to interdict the remedial actions of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report.

The matter was heard in the high court on Tuesday after Mabuyane, along with Eastern Cape public works MEC, Babalo Madikizela, had launched an urgent application.

The application to interdict Mkwebane’s remedial action and an investigation by the Hawks was not opposed by the public protector.

Medical-record leak not an ‘actionable violation’ of Zuma’s rights, says court

Zuma vs Downer recusal case
Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: File

Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge Piet Koen on Tuesday questioned the basis of a criminal complaint lodged against state advocate Billy Downer, for allegedly leaking former president Jacob Zuma’s confidential medical records to the media. 

Koen said he was not persuaded that the disclosure of a letter from Zuma’s doctors in the state and defence’s court papers constituted “an actionable violation” of his rights to privacy.

Koen, in his judgment dismissing Zuma’s application to recuse Downer from his corruption trial, said the right to privacy – like most fundamental rights, except the right to life – is not an absolute right, and is subject to certain limitations.

Malema slams ‘Mr Anti-corruption’ Ramaphosa for shielding Mabuyane

Mabuyane vs Mkhwebane
Leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Julius Malema. Picture: Gallo Images/Brenton Geach

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has questioned why Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane has not stepped aside over corruption allegations.

Malema accused President Cyril Ramaphosa of protecting ANC officials who are part of his faction despite them facing corruption allegations.

Mabuyane and the Eastern Cape public works MEC Babalo Madikizela have been implicated in corruption following a report by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

‘It was a setup’: Zille backtracks on DA-ANC coalition statement

Helen Zille DA leaked audio coalition
DA federal chair Helen Zille. Picture: Gallo Images/Netwerk24/Jaco Marais

The Democratic Alliance’s (DA’s) federal chair Helen Zille has apparently changed her mind about forming a coalition with the ANC.

In a leaked audio tape from 2019, Zille is heard saying that the DA must consolidate its support at 20% and enter into a coalition with the ANC.

On Monday, however, Zille backtracked on those comments, according to News24.

“We have made it quite clear: we will only go into coalitions with parties who share our core values of non-racialism, constitutionalism and the rule of law, a social market economy and the separation of party and state. It is clear that the ANC under [President Cyril] Ramaphosa has fundamentally failed to advance these values, and the EFF never held those values in the first place,” Zille said.

Godongwana’s medium-term budget statement delayed by a week

Godongwana in bitter spat with trade unions over basic income grant comment
(Photo by Gallo Images / Sowetan / Thulani Mbele)

Parliament has announced that Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s 2021 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) will be delayed by a week.

This comes after Treasury sent a request to National Assembly Speaker, Nosivie Mapisa-Nqakula, to postpone the MTBPS in effort to allow MPs breathing space after local government elections.

The municipal elections are set to take place next Monday, on 1 November.

Watch: Three injured in shootout during robbery at Oriental Plaza jewellery store

Oriental Plaza armed robbery
Two security guards and a construction worker were injured in a shootout at the Oriental Plaza on Tuesday. Photo: Twitter/@visiontactical

Two security guards and a construction worker were injured during a shootout at the Oriental Plaza in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

The chaotic scenes were caught on camera and released by Yusuf Abramjee. He claimed the gunmen were robbing a jewellery store at the mall in Fordsburg.

Security guards from Vision Tactical responded to a robbery. The security company said a guard and construction worker were injured during the shootout.