Full Bench of South Gauteng High Court to hear President Ramaphosa’s interdict application against former head of state Zuma

South Africa - Nasrec - 19 December 2022. Re-elected ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa.Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency(ANA)

South Africa - Nasrec - 19 December 2022. Re-elected ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa.Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Jan 10, 2023


Johannesburg –The Jacob Zuma Foundation has questioned whether South Africans are equal before the law.

A Full Bench of the South Gauteng High Court will hear President Cyril Ramaphosa's urgent interdict application against former head of state Jacob Zuma's private criminal prosecution of him on Thursday.

Ramaphosa had until noon to file his answering affidavit in his attempt to interdict Zuma from prosecuting him.

The application filed by Ramaphosa against Zuma was supposed to be heard on January 10, but it will now be heard on Thursday at 10am.

Last month, in his application, Ramaphosa requested that the court excuse him from appearing before the court, set for January 19, as directed by the summons.

Gauteng Deputy Judge President (DJP) Roland Sutherland issued a directive saying that a Full Bench would hear the matter in person, not virtually.

"After consultation with the DJP, it has been resolved that the matter will be heard before a full court. The matter is set down for hearing on Thursday, January 12, 2023, at 10am before Sutherland, Molahlehi J and Senyatsi J. The matter will no longer proceed virtually; the matter will be heard in physical court," said the directive from the judiciary.

Zuma accused Ramaphosa of being an "accessory after the fact" in a criminal offence charge alleged against State advocate William Downer, who is accused of improperly sharing information in terms of the NPA Act.

Ramaphosa had demanded that Zuma withdraw his private prosecution within three days, but his legal team refused to comply with Ramaphosa’s demands.

JGZ Foundation spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi said the private prosecution has gone from being mocked as something to be ignored into something quite big that now requires a Full Bench.

"It will be interesting to see how the Full Bench will deal with a defective affidavit from none other than the head of state," Manyi said.

He further said: "Notwithstanding that it is a welcome development that the advice for Ramaphosa to ignore the summons has been exposed to be fundamentally flawed and ultra vires, but on the other hand, given the Zuma laws we have been subjected to, one hopes that this is not another build-up of another shenanigan."

Manyi questioned why the case required a Full Bench.

"Why would such a frivolous case require a FullBench at the instance of the judiciary itself? Typically it's one of the parties that normally would request for such. Psst! frivolous because the main case is set down for January 19, 2023.

"Is this perhaps one of those exceptional or exclusive treatments for the all-important President Ramaphosa? Would an ordinary citizen be given this kind of attention? Are we all equal before the law? I am just thinking out loud," Manyi said.

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The Star