Zuma expected to file papers to support application for Downer’s recusal

Nivashni Nair Senior reporter
Former president Jacob Zuma shares a light moment with a member of his legal team at the Pietermaritzburg high court on Monday.
Former president Jacob Zuma shares a light moment with a member of his legal team at the Pietermaritzburg high court on Monday.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) will on Wednesday learn the reasons behind former president Jacob Zuma’s objection to advocate Billy Downer prosecuting him when he files his affidavit in the Pietermaritzburg high court.

A member of Zuma’s legal team told SowetanLIVE's sister publication TimesLIVE the papers were with the former president’s attorneys. It is not known at what time the affidavit will be filed.

Zuma will have to prove to the court that lead prosecutor Downer, who has spent close to 15 years to bring him to book, is not entitled to prosecute him.

The matter will be discussed after Zuma’s plea of not guilty is recorded in court on May 26.

NPA spokesperson Sipho Ngwema said outside court after Zuma’s appearance on Monday that the state still had to hear on what basis he is objecting to Downer.

“Billy Downer is a member of the NPA. He has been dealing with them for two decades. He is the one in Durban who prosecuted Schabir Shaik on the same issues, so we have to wait to see what their objection is,” he said.

In the past Zuma’s defence team was accused of adopting a “Stalingrad approach” by launching many court applications to delay the start of the corruption trial while the state has always said it was ready to proceed.

In 2007, Zuma’s then advocate Kemp J Kemp told the Durban high court: “We have adopted a Stalingrad strategy in response to this prosecution ... we will fight [the state] in every street, in every house, and in every room.”

Since then, under instruction from Zuma’s long-time attorney Michael Hulley, his defence team tried every possible legal avenue to prevent him from being prosecuted.

Zuma is accused of receiving an annual bribe of R500,000 from French arms dealer Thales for protection from an investigation into the controversial arms deal.

The alleged bribe was facilitated by Shaik, who was Zuma’s former financial adviser.

TimesLIVE


Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.