Zuma’s latest move meant to frustrate Downer, has little chance of success

Ulrich Roux, founder and managing director of Ulrich Roux and Associates, said the move by Zuma was just a way to frustrate Billy Downer


Legal experts say the private prosecution bid instigated by former president Jacob Zuma against Advocate Billy Downer for allegedly leaking his confidential medical records to News24 journalist Karyn Maughan is likely to have no bearing on the arms deal case. Ulrich Roux, founder and managing director of Ulrich Roux and Associates, said the move by Zuma was just a way to frustrate the process and to frustrate Downer from prosecuting the matter. Roux said he did not believe Zuma had any chances of succeeding in his private prosecution bid against Downer. ALSO READ: Sanef: Zuma private prosecution on journo an…

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Legal experts say the private prosecution bid instigated by former president Jacob Zuma against Advocate Billy Downer for allegedly leaking his confidential medical records to News24 journalist Karyn Maughan is likely to have no bearing on the arms deal case.

Ulrich Roux, founder and managing director of Ulrich Roux and Associates, said the move by Zuma was just a way to frustrate the process and to frustrate Downer from prosecuting the matter.

Roux said he did not believe Zuma had any chances of succeeding in his private prosecution bid against Downer.

ALSO READ: Sanef: Zuma private prosecution on journo an ‘attack on media freedom’

“The NPA [National Prosecuting Authority] has already considered the charge which he has laid and they have confirmed that they do not see a successful prosecution.

“Accordingly, I do not think he’ll be able to prove that there is going to be a successful prosecution. I just think Zuma is once again abusing the court process with the end result most likely to be a verdict of not guilty by the court.”

He said if Downer was found guilty in a matter of prosecution, it would not have any effect on Zuma’s trial because it was a completely separate process.

“It shouldn’t have any effects on Zuma being prosecuted.”

In May last year, KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg Judge Piet Koen dismissed Zuma’s special plea application to remove Downer from prosecuting his corruption case as Zuma sought to challenge Downer’s title to prosecute on the basis that he was biased.

A practising advocate who requested anonymity said one would have to wait and see who Zuma would call as witnesses.

“Are you going to call [NPA Director of Public Prosecutions] Shamila Batohi? How do you call her because she will be a witness that is potentially adverse to you? “Can you call Billy Downer? I believe he would be adverse to you [too].”

The advocate said Zuma might be relying on the fact that, if Downer is convicted in the private prosecution process, he cannot practice as a prosecutor.

ALSO READ: Carl Niehaus takes jab at Tito Mboweni with pilchards jibe on Twitter

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