Zuma’s appeal on private prosecution rejected


The KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg has ex-pres. Jacob Zuma’s leave to appeal against the court’s finding that he cannot prosecute state attorney Billy Downer and News24 journalist Karyn Maughan in private has been dismissed.

Judge Gregory Kruger said in his judgment on Monday that there was no merit in any of Zuma’s arguments. According to the judge, he relies on the original decision and he believes that another court will not come to a different conclusion.

Zuma was ordered to pay the legal costs of the application.

In June, the court dismissed Zuma’s private prosecution of Maughan and Downer with costs. The court also prohibited Zuma from re-instituting private prosecution, continuing with it or taking any further steps in this regard.

An enforcement order was granted to Maughan and Downer last month. This order orders that Zuma cannot prosecute them further privately while he takes the case on appeal. The court granted the application with costs. This order is related to the judgment delivered in June.

Downer is the public prosecutor in Zuma’s corruption case.

Zuma wanted to have the two prosecuted privately because he believes Downer leaked confidential information about his medical condition to Maughan.

The case revolves around a doctor’s note which was submitted to the court during Zuma’s corruption trial and which the state shared with Maughan, a specialist reporter. Zuma accused the two of being in breach of the National Prosecuting Authority Act (NPA). The note is part of court records which are also public documents.

Zuma’s legal representative, adv. Dali Mpofu, had earlier indicated that he would exercise the right of automatic appeal if the enforcement order was granted.