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Jacob Zuma Foundation spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi, who said that the former president intends launching a private prosecution against lead prosecutor Billy Downer. Picture: SANDILE NDLOVU
Jacob Zuma Foundation spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi, who said that the former president intends launching a private prosecution against lead prosecutor Billy Downer. Picture: SANDILE NDLOVU

The Jacob Zuma Foundation on Sunday called for a private prosecution of prosecutor Billy Downer for allegedly leaking information to the media.

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) last week rejected Zuma’s appeal against the dismissal of his special plea challenging the standing of Downer, who Zuma has alleged was biased against him, in his Arms Deal corruption case.

Former president Jacob Zuma is scheduled to appear in the high court in Pietermaritzburg on Monday.

Speaking at a press briefing to announce their latest stance regarding Zuma’s upcoming corruption case, foundation spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi said the intention is to pursue a private prosecution of Downer, lead prosecutor in the arms deal-related case.

Zuma has decided that the “only way to deal with Downer is through private prosecution, so wheels are in motion to see that that happens”, said Manyi.

Manyi said the legal team representing Zuma is waiting for the reasons and the certificate confirming “this spurious decision” not to prosecute Downer, and “which was only made known to Zuma during a Zoom meeting on the afternoon of Friday April 8”.

Manyi said the NPA on Saturday served a supplementary affidavit in a bid to bolster its case “for a postponement application in these carefully orchestrated events”.

However, he said that Zuma will be present in court on Monday and, through his legal team, would respond to the affidavit “in which they seek to introduce new evidence on the events of the last few days”.

All Zuma wants is his day in court in a fair trial, not one like this that has all the hallmarks of being rigged by the state
Mzwanele Manyi, Jacob Zuma Foundation spokesperson

“Zuma has instructed his legal team to lodge a private prosecution against Downer subject to all legal requirements and protocols as soon as the Supreme Court of Appeal announces its expected biased decision,” said Manyi.

He denied allegations that Zuma is using delay tactics to stall the case.

“All Zuma wants is his day in court in a fair trial, not one like this that has all the hallmarks of being rigged by the state. And we trust that all the previous unfair and incorrect court decisions taken along the way will be rectified by higher courts,” he said, referring to Zuma’s tendency to block the case at every stage.

“We hold the view that the day that all are equal before the law has not yet come, and Zuma has been treated unfairly. He is applying for a postponement only because the conditions for fair trial are not evident,” Manyi said, adding that the legal team is “ready to present Zuma’s case tomorrow”.

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