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Citizen Reporter
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1 minute read
12 Nov 2021
4:57 pm

Zuma to appeal court’s refusal to remove Downer from his corruption trial

Citizen Reporter

The former president plans to continue his attempts to see advocate Billy Downer removed as the prosecutor in his corruption trial.

Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: File

Former President Jacob Zuma has played yet another card in delaying his corruption trial, which was expected to finally resume next year, by filing leave to appeal the court’s dismissal of his special-plea bid to have Billy Downer removed as prosecutor.

On 26 October the Pietermaritzburg High Court dismissed Zuma’s application to have Downer recused from prosecuting his arms deal corruption trial, saying the grounds on which Zuma brought his special plea did not fit the requirements.

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”.

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“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.

Judge Piet Koen dismissed Zuma’s application and ordered that the trial against Zuma and French company Thales should proceed.

Now, the former president plans to challenge Koen’s ruling, and has brought an application in which he argues “The Learned Judge (also referred to as the court a quo) erred and/or grossly misdirected itself” in several aspects of law.

  • This is a developing story and will be updated with more information as it becomes available.