Zuma v Ramaphosa: Court hears claims that Msholozi is trying to settle political scores

In this file photo, former ANC president Jacob Zuma shares a funny moment with now ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

President Cyril Ramaphosa v former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Published May 17, 2023

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The showdown between President Cyril Ramaphosa and former president Jacob Zuma is continuing at the Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg, as proceedings started with advocate Ngwako Maentje SC addressing Zuma’s arguments.

The matter in which Zuma is accusing Ramaphosa of being an accessory to a crime allegedly committed by State prosecutor Billy Downer and journalist Karyn Maughan is sitting in front of a full Bench currently.

Zuma has alleged that the two leaked his private medical records and that the president failed to act on the alleged breach.

Zuma has previously argued that this compromised the NPA and by extension, the criminal justice system.

However, Ramaphosa is seeking a final and permanent interdict against Zuma’s private prosecution.

State attorney, representing Ramaphosa, advocate Ngwako Maenjte SC has been addressing the court since this morning.

He has submitted to the court that this case falls squarely in the boundaries of abuse of court process, ulterior motives and no substantial interests.

“It’s frivolous and vexatious.This is the kind of criminal charge that is preferred against the president. With great respect, the courts are not there to be used for this sorts of cases whether to settle political scores or to deal with personal animosity,” Maentje said.

Maentje has so far addressed Zuma’s argument that Ramaphosa doesn’t have any standing to bring the application in his capacity as president, as opposed to his personal capacity.

He told the court that when the president’s rights have been threatened, he has a legal standing to institute proceedings in court to protect his rights.

He further argued that Ramaphosa did acknowledge Zuma’s initial complaints against the NPA and referred the complaints to the minister of justice who oversees the NPA.

“The Constitution states (the President) exercises his executive authority together with his ministers. There is nothing criminal in that.

“So how did his actions change overnight and on the night before the ANC conference?”

Maentje is continuing with his arguments.

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