Thapelo Lekabe
Digital Journalist
3 minute read
27 May 2022
2:38 pm

Judiciary adopting ‘standard position’ to reject Zuma’s cases, claims Manyi

Thapelo Lekabe

Jacob Zuma’s foundation claims the judiciary is ‘collaborating to maintain a particular posture’ against him

Spokesperson for the Jacob Zuma Foundation Mzwanele Manyi speaks during a press conference, 10 April 2022, in Sandton. Picture: Michel Bega

Former president Jacob Zuma’s foundation says it’s not surprising that the president of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), Mandisa Maya, decided to dismiss the former president’s reconsideration application.

The spokesperson for the foundation, Mzwanele Manyi, on Thursday claimed that the justice system had always been stacked against Zuma.

“Obviously the initial reaction is that of disappointment, but I would be lying to you if I say we were surprised.

“It has become a norm for [former] president Zuma to lose cases. It’s almost like it’s a standard position for all the courts but we solidier on,” Manyi said in an interview with Newzroom Afrika

Zuma’s legal team filed the application after the SCA in March this year dismissed his appeal of the Pietermaritzburg high court’s judgment in October 2021, rejecting his initial application to have the NPA’s lead prosecutor in the arms deal trial, advocate Billy Downer, removed.

ALSO READ: SCA dismisses Jacob Zuma’s reconsideration application

Zuma wanted Downer removed from his corruption case because he claims the prosecutor is biased against him and leaked his confidential medical records to the media.

However, Downer and the NPA have strongly denied these allegations and accused the former president of stalling tactics.

Manyi said Zuma’s legal team was still studying Judge Maya’s decision on the matter and exploring their options on whether to appeal to a higher court like the Constitutional Court.

“At this point, the lawyers are still mulling over the issues,” he said.

“…What we think is happening here is that the whole justice system is actually collaborating to maintain a particular posture.”

Private prosecution

Manyi also slammed NPA boss Shamila Batohi claiming that the prosecutions body was refusing to grant them a private prosecution certificate, after it declined to prosecute Downer for allegedly leaking Zuma’s confidential medical records.

“The situation at hand is that already on 8 April Batohi had made a decision not to prosecute Downer. One would have thought that by now we would have got that certificate of non-prosecution,” he said.

In April this year, the Jacob Zuma Foundation announced that the former president would seek the private prosecution of Downer.

Private prosecution is a procedure in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act where private individuals can prosecute an accused person in circumstances where the NPA declines to do so.

‘Monkey tricks’

Manyi also accused the NPA of stalling their bid to privately prosecute Downer.

“We have been battling with Batohi to say give us this certificate and Batohi is refusing. They come up with all kinds of monkey tricks up to now.

“The legal team of [former] president Zuma are ready to prosecute Downer, but the key is that certificate of non-prosecution… this is a situation which for us we interpret it as actually the abuse of the criminal justice system.”

Zuma and French arms manufacturer Thales, which allegedly bribed him, are on trial over the controversial multibillion-rand arms deal concluded in the late 1990s.

The former president faces 18 charges and 783 counts of fraud‚ corruption, money laundering, and racketeering – while Thales is facing four counts.

Pietermaritzburg high court Judge Piet Koen set 15 August 2022 as the holding date for the start of the long-awaited corruption trial.

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