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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Let it go: Zuma’s court applications, appeals ‘ridiculous’

In his latest court challenge, Zuma has taken the fight to privately prosecute President Cyril Ramaphosa to the Supreme Court of Appeal

Prominent defence attorney William Booth said the plethora of applications brought by former President Jacob Zuma before the various courts in his attempt to appeal rulings against him are “ridiculous” and it’s time for the courts to set a precedent against such applications.

In his latest court challenge, Zuma has taken the fight to privately prosecute President Cyril Ramaphosa to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).

Zuma made a brief appearance in the Johannesburg High Court on Monday.

The matter was postponed to the 11th of April, pending the outcome of Zuma’s petition before the SCA to appeal the outcome of Ramaphosa’s review of the criminal private prosecution proceedings.

Let it go

Booth told 702, Zuma should just let it go.

“This whole process, if you can call it a process, or saga or circus which ever way you want to discuss these applications brought by former President Zuma is quite ridiculous.

“I think it’s about time that the court actually state categorically that if lawyers bring such applications on behalf of whoever and there is absolutely no basis, they must be held accountable,” Booth said.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Zuma turns to SCA in Ramaphosa private prosecution battle


Booth said the Gauteng High Court has made it clear that the application relating to the private prosecution of Ramaphosa has no basis.

“Section 7 of the Criminal Procedure Act deals with private prosecutions and it sets out certain requirements and none of these requirements have been met by Zuma at all.

“This all goes back to a medical certificate relating to Mr Zuma that was disclosed to media by the NPA. So, Zuma says that President Ramaphosa should have held an enquiry against the NPA or one of its members relating to unlawful conduct. But there was no unlawful conduct relating to the NPA and the journalist at any event,” Booth said.

Booth added that the courts must get on with the arms deal case against Zuma.

“This [by Zuma] in my view is just a delay to get to the inevitable to deal with the trial against him.”

No prospect of success

Booth added if a person (in this case Zuma) does not comply with the basic requirements when it comes to private prosecution, there is no reasonable prospect of success.

“As lawyers we have a duty to the public, to courts and to the client that you can’t just carry on and on and go to court when there is no basis in law and on the facts. You can’t do that, that’s my view as a lawyer.”

During court proceedings on Monday, Zuma’s legal team led by Advocate Dali Mpofu said it wanted to consolidate its Ramaphosa appeal bid with another appeal aimed at overturning the setting aside of Zuma’s private prosecution of state prosecutor Billy Downer and journalist Karyn Maughan.

ALSO READ: Zuma’s private prosecution of Downer and Maughan postponed for six months

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arms deal courts Cyril Ramaphosa Jacob Zuma

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