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Judgment reserved in Zuma vs Ramaphosa legal battle

todayMay 19, 2023 129

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Former president Jacob Zuma & President Cyril Ramaphosa (Flickr)

The High Court in Johannesburg has reserved judgment in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s bid to interdict the private prosecution launched against him.

Former President Jacob Zuma launched the prosecution against Ramaphosa in December last year, on the eve of the ANC’s 55th National Elective Conference in Nasrec.

Zuma is accusing his successor of being an accessory after the fact for not acting on a complaint he lodged against the state prosecutor in his longstanding arms deal trial.

The former statesman says Ramaphosa failed to act when state prosecutor, Advocate Billy Downer, allegedly leaked his confidential medical records to legal journalist, Karyn Maughn.

Zuma was released on medical parole in September 2021, less than a month after he handed himself over to police to serve his 15-month contempt of court sentence.

The former stateman’s legal counsel has accused President Ramaphosa of abusing state resources to protect his interests.

“If Mr Ramaphosa is charged with the offence of accessoriness in terms of 41(6), he may be found guilty of that offence, provided that he may not be sentenced to any sentence higher than the 15 years, for obvious reasons, he is not a principle offender, thats all,” said Zuma’s legal representative, Advocate Dali Mpofu.

Meanwhile Ramaphosa’s Advocate, Ngwako Maenetje, has argued that the private prosecution is in breach of the rule of law and threatens the President’s constitutional rights.

“The private prosecution is for an ulterior purpose, constitutes an abuse of court process, the first respondent lacks a substantial interest in that prosecution because the charge is frivolous and vexatious,” said Maenetje.

The President is of the view that Zuma had ulterior motives in issuing him with a summons before the ANC’s elective conference.

Written by: Lindiwe Mpanza

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