President Cyril Ramaphosa wins court interdict against predecessor Jacob Zuma in private prosecution

The ANC top leadership led by President Cyril Ramaphosa stood and danced along side former president Jacob Zuma after Ramaphosa finished delivering his speech. Picture: Zwelizwe Ndlovu

The ANC top leadership led by President Cyril Ramaphosa stood and danced along side former president Jacob Zuma after Ramaphosa finished delivering his speech. Picture: Zwelizwe Ndlovu

Published Jan 16, 2023


Johannesburg - The full Bench of judges in Johannesburg High Court has granted President Cyril Ramaphosa an urgent interdict against former president Jacob Zuma’s private prosecution.

Zuma wanted Ramaphosa prosecuted as an accessory after the leaked medical documents chronicle.

This means Ramaphosa will not have to appear in a criminal court this coming Thursday.

Handing down judgment, Gauteng Deputy Judge President Roland Sutherland said the court had found that urgency had been proven by Ramaphosa’s lawyers, granting him an urgent interdict.

“The application is urgent on the ordinary forms and service provided for the uniform rules of court on the specimen. Pending the final determination of part B, first respondent interdicted from taking any further steps to give effect to the volley prosecute certificates of 21 November 2022 and 6 June 2022 and the summons is issued by the register on the 15th… 21st of December 2022 to pursue the private prosecution.

“The cost occasioned by this urgent application shall be reserved for decision of the hearing upon me in this case. The party’s representatives are directed to immediately approach the office of the deputy judge president to arrange a case management meeting to set an agreed date for the hearing. We hand down this judgment, which will be uploaded online within the email to such parties.”

Zuma accused Ramaphosa of being an “accessory after the fact” in a criminal offence charge alleged against advocate William Downer and journalist Karyn Maughan, who is accused of improperly sharing information in terms of the NPA Act.

Zuma alleged Downer and Maughan leaked his medical information used as evidence in his arms deal corruption trial.

Former ANC member Carl Niehaus said if there is any institution that will lead to this country to collapse it was the judiciary.

“The ruling is an outrage. It once again confirms my long-held view that our courts are captured. How can the public be expected to have trust in the judgments of our courts, with such partisan rulings? How can the court say that it is ‘novel’ for someone to be charged in his/her official capacity,” said Niehaus.

He said that on Friday, suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has to appear in the Bloemfontein High Court for flimsy “oversight” charges related to when he was premier of the Free State.

“But suddenly it is ‘novel’ to charge Ramaphosa in an official capacity. Aikona! What must be true for the goose, must be true for the gander! Once again this is selective justice. Selective justice is not justice at all: it is injustice. However, Ramaphosa remains charged, that is not in dispute and Ramaphosa was charged before the ANC’s 55th National Conference commenced, so in terms of the ‘step-aside rule’ he was not eligible to stand as candidate for the ANC presidency. Finish en klaar!” Niehaus said.

Spokesperson for the Jacob Zuma Foundation Mzwanele Manyi said Zuma was scheduled to be in the Johannesburg High Court on January 19 at 9:30am.

"The foundation feels vindicated that all of the sudden, the 11th hour upgrading of one judge to a full bench was suspicious, now we see why this is," said Manyi.

He said the foundation observed duplicity of the judiciary that on the one hand there was a situation in the country where a person was charged for lack of oversight or not doing something but today they heard the court characterised this as a novel case.

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