Molefe Seeletsa

By Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist

WATCH: Zuma’s private prosecution against Downer, Maughan struck from the roll (VIDEO)

The High Court in Pietermaritzburg. delivered its ruling on Wednesday morning.

Former president Jacob Zuma has suffered a blow after his private prosecution of prosecutor Billy Downer and journalist Karyn Maughan was removed from the roll by the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) High Court in Pietermaritzburg.

Judge Nkosinathi Chili handed down his ruling on Wednesday.

Watch Chili passing down judgment:

“The private prosecution by Mr Zuma of Mr Downer and Ms Maughan is removed from the roll.

ALSO READ: Ramaphosa opposes Zuma’s appeal to SCA as private prosecution case postponed

“Such removal is without prejudice to the rights of Mr Zuma in terms of Section 11(1) of the Criminal Procedure Act.

“Mr Downer and Ms Maughan are directed to appear as accused persons in the private prosecution in the date to be determined in the event that the judgment and order of the full bench of this division dated 7 June 2023 are finally set aside,” Chilli said.

Last week, Maughan’s lawyers made an application asking the high court to strike the case off the roll.

Zuma’s case an ‘abuse of court’

Zuma initiated a private prosecution against Downer and Maughan over sharing public court documents, including a medical note, in September 2022.

According to the former president, this was in violation of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Act.

The private prosecution was set aside on 7 June 2023, with Zuma being ordered to pay the costs of Downer and Maughan’s applications.

WATCH: Zuma’s bid to force removal of arms deal corruption prosecutor Downer dismissed

The former president launched countless appeal applications all the way to the Constitutional Court (ConCourt), which refused to hear his case in February this year.

The last appeal bid was dismissed by Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) president Mahube Molemela on 28 March.

The various court judgments have labelled Zuma’s private prosecution as an “abuse” and a tactic to delay the arms deal trial, where Downer serves as the prosecutor.

The trial involving Zuma and the French arms company, Thales, is linked to a significant corruption case concerning a multi-billion rand arms deal.

The arms deal has been postponed to 17 May for a pre-trial.

Ramaphosa private prosecution

Meanwhile, Zuma’s private prosecution against President Cyril Ramaphosa will return to the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on 6 August, pending his appeal.

The former president initiated the legal proceedings in December 2022, but the matter was reviewed and set aside.

Zuma has now turned to the SCA.

Ramaphosa is opposing Zuma’s appeal.

NOW READ: Zuma: ‘We come to court all the time, but Ramaphosa has never been’ (VIDEO)