‘Urgency of matter is self-created’ – Zuma files answering affidavit opposing Ramaphosa’s application
According to Zuma, Ramaphosa's application 'dismally failed' to meet the legal requirements for an urgent interdict.
Former President Jacob Zuma at the State Capture Commission on 16 July 2019. Photo: The Citizen/Neil McCartney
Former president Jacob Zuma has filed his answering affidavit opposing President Cyril Ramaphosa’s urgent application to the High Court in Johannesburg interdicting Zuma from pursuing his private prosecution against him.
The former president says there is no urgency in the matter and that “any urgency that may exist is self-created”.
Zuma instituted a private prosecution against Ramaphosa on the eve of the African National Congress (ANC) national elective conference, accusing the president of being an “accessory after the fact” in a criminal offence alleged against Advocate William Downer, who is accused of improperly sharing information in terms of the NPA Act.
In his application, Ramaphosa argued that in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Act, a private prosecution can only be instituted after the individual prosecuting has obtained a certificate of non-prosecution.
“Mr. Zuma has not provided such a certificate with charges in the name of President Ramaphosa and the summon served to the President is hopelessly sub-standard and demonstrate absolute disregard of the law,” said Ramaphosa, adding that the private prosecution against him was “unlawful” and “unconstitutional”.
Ramaphosa’s affidavit ‘defective’
In his answering affidavit opposing Ramaphosa’s urgent application, Zuma said the president’s affidavit was “defective, extremely abusive, frivolous and vexatious”.
“It will be amply demonstrated that the application is neither urgent nor deserving to this Court’s attention. It represents an extreme case of the egregious abuse of this Court’s process and is designed to shield the Applicant from accountability for his alleged criminal conduct, which includes a failure to act when he had a legal duty to do so. It is by now trite that crimes are committed either by commission or by omission,” said Zuma in his affidavit.
He said the “real essence” of Ramaphosa’s application was to seek “unprecedented, special and preferential treatment” as a criminally charged and accused person.
“This and other preliminary legal objections raised below, require that the application not even be entertained but dismissed out of hand or struck off the roll with punitive costs.”
According to Zuma, Ramaphosa’s application also “dismally failed” to meet the legal requirements for an urgent interdict.
‘Criminally charged accused individual’
Zuma said he was, however, pleased that Ramaphosa had abandoned his “dismissive and contemptuous” attitude towards his private prosecution.
“By the mere lodgement of this application and reading from his affidavit, he has since come to terms and is acknowledging, inter alia, the reality that he is a criminally charged accused individual and is dutybound to appear and be present at his criminal trial, which is set down on 19 January 2022 , failing which a warrant of his arrest will be issued.”