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Former President Jacob Zuma’s venture to privately prosecute Ramaphosa has been fruitless

Fromer president Jacob Zuma and President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Elmond Jiyane, GCIS

Fromer president Jacob Zuma and President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Elmond Jiyane, GCIS

Published Jul 5, 2023


Johannesburg – Former statesman Jacob Zuma has suffered another legal blow after the high court in Johannesburg declared his private prosecution of President Cyril Ramaphosa unlawful and unconstitutional.

Zuma has been directed to pay Ramaphosa’s costs, including those of two lawyers. Summons against Ramaphosa have also been set aside.

The high court said the nole prosequi certificate issued by the KwaZulu-Natal director of private prosecution to Zuma does not apply to the president.

Zuma advanced to the courts amid accusations that Ramaphosa failed to act when he told him about state prosecutor advocate Billy Downer’s alleged misconduct, including the leak of his private medical information.

The former president is still fighting to have Downer removed from the Arms Deal corruption trial.

When handing down judgment, the court declared that: “The nolle prosequi certificates issued by the second respondent Zuma, dated June 6 and November 21, 2021, do not apply to Ramaphosa.

“The summonses Zuma issued against Ramaphosa are unlawful, invalid, and set aside.

“Zuma’s private prosecution of Ramaphosa instituted under the summons is unlawful and unconstitutional and is set aside.

“Zuma’s private prosecution of Ramaphosa in respect of the charges set out in the summons and grounded on the allegations set out in the summary of facts attached to the summons is interdicted.”

South Africans took to social media platforms like Twitter to express their views.

Twitter user Professor Moyo wrote: “Where to from here? Challenge the judgment at the Constitutional Court, where Zondo is the gatekeeper of the law, or the AU court? It’s only up to Dr Jacob Zuma to decide; we await to see the next move of esteemed chess player.”

Another user, Amukelani Moyani, wrote: “Jacob Zuma has been well and truly beaten! CR is just too smart and ahead of Zuma!"

The JGZ Foundation had not responded by the time the article went live online.

The Star