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By Citizen Reporter

Journalist


Zuma set to appear in court in his private prosecution bid

Zuma's court appearance comes after the high court on Monday granted Ramaphosa an urgent interim interdict.


Former president Jacob Zuma is due to appear in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Thursday, in his bid to privately prosecute his successor, President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Zuma vs Ramaphosa

The former president’s appearance in court comes after the high court on Monday granted Ramaphosa an urgent interim interdict against private prosecution by Zuma.

ALSO READ: High court grants Ramaphosa urgent interdict against Zuma’s private prosecution

The full bench of the high court ruled that Ramaphosa’s interim interdict application was urgent and that he had successfully made a prima facie case of his right to personal freedom being violated.

The court heard part A of the president’s application, which is the urgent interim interdict to block his appearance in court on Thursday. Part B of his application is expected to be heard at a later stage.

The Jacob Zuma Foundation said the high court “misdirected itself” and that Zuma was consulting his lawyers on the way forward.

Zuma’s court appearance

Spokesperson for the foundation, Mzwanele Manyi, said the standing instructions are for Zuma, in his capacity as the private prosecutor, to attend the sitting of the criminal proceedings set down for Thursday by the registrar at 9.30am.

“The purpose thereof amongst others will be to explain the latest developments introduced by the judgment, the (likely) absence of the accused as a result of the said judgment and more importantly to specifically avoid the adverse consequences of Section 11 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977.

Manyi said the Act states that: “If the private prosecutor does not appear on the day set down for the appearance of the accused or for the trial of the accused, the charge against the accused shall be dismissed unless the court has reason to believe that the private prosecutor was prevented from being present by circumstances beyond his control, in which event the court may adjourn the case to a later date”.

RELATED: ‘Ramaphosa received preferential treatment’, says Jacob Zuma Foundation

Case background

Ramaphosa applied for an urgent interim interdict after Zuma – on the eve of the ANC’s 55th elective conference in December – charged him with being an “accessory after the fact” in relation to charges Zuma is pursuing against senior state prosecutor Billy Downer and journalist Karyn Maughan.

Zuma charged Downer and Maughan with contravening the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Act over the disclosure of a medical note from his doctor – without the authorisation of the national director of public prosecutions – that was filed during the former president’s arms deal corruption trial.

Zuma has accused the pair of colluding to publicly release his medical information on 9 August 2021, even though the medical note was part of the public court record filed by his own legal team.

The former president has alleged that Ramaphosa committed a criminal offence by not acting against Downer and Maughan when he lodged a complaint with his office on 19 August 2021.

Ramaphosa, on the other hand, has argued that he did not commit any crime because he wrote to Zuma’s legal team on 25 August 2021, informing them that the matter had been referred to Justice Minister Ronald Lamola, and he had asked him to refer the complaint to the Legal Practice Council.

Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe

NOW READ: Ramaphosa’s legal team argues Zuma is trampling on his constitutional rights

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