Former president Jacob Zuma. File picture: GCIS/SAPA
Former president Jacob Zuma. File picture: GCIS/SAPA

Jacob Zuma’s arguments on Billy Downer previously dismissed by courts, says NPA

By Sihle Mavuso Time of article published May 20, 2021

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Durban - Days before the Pietermaritzburg High Court convenes again to hear from former president Jacob Zuma why that National Prosecuting Authority’s senior prosecutor, advocate Billy Downer SC, should not lead his prosecution, indications are that he will rely on spy tapes to bolster his case.

This could be deduced from Zuma’s speech delivered to his supporters outside court on Monday in Pietermaritzburg and from the NPA’s response after briefly scanning his affidavit which was sent on Wednesday at around 11pm.

In a brief statement confirming that the NPA has received Zuma’s plea, Sipho Ngwema, the prosecuting body’s spokesperson, said it appeared that the arguments advanced by Zuma have been previously tackled by the courts.

“State vs JG Zuma & Other(:)The legal team of accused 1 (Zuma) emailed the plea document to the NPA around 23:00 last night. We are studying the document and we will submit our response in court as expected.

“At face value it looks like a regurgitation of the old false issues that have been previously rejected by the courts. However, the matter is now sub judice, we will deal with it extensively in court as required,” Ngwema said.

While Zuma’s lawyers previously said they would open their cards in court only when the matter was heard on Wednesday, Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla, one of Zuma's daughters, posted a curious tweet late on Wednesday about the matter.

In the tweet, which she later deleted, she posted a picture of the former president sitting in front of a bundle of documents and said he has signed the affidavit.

The NPA’s revelations that Zuma is going to rely on old arguments is not surprising as he hinted about it on Monday, when he said some of those in charge of his trial was caught gossiping about him and even insulting him. This was an apparent reference that Downer is implicated in the spy tapes of April 2009.

As such, Zuma contested and Downer could not lead his prosecution as he has a political agenda.

“This trial includes people who were conniving and gossiping with investigators, saying this one should be arrested… even those in charge of the law were saying that and there were also those who were insulting me… but right now they are in charge of the trial,” Zuma told his supporters on Monday.

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