Cape Town – The JG Zuma Foundation says former president Jacob Zuma will appeal the High Court ruling dismissing his request to have Billy Downer removed from his corruption trial.
Zuma accused Downer of being biased and wanted him removed from the case, saying he did not have a “lawful title” to prosecute him.
The foundation said Zuma had instructed his lawyers to appeal the judgment in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).
We confirm that H.E Pres Zuma has instructed his lawyers to appeal today’s judgment to the SCA.The Jugde made several material & gross errors of law and misdirections of fact in interpreting s106 of the CP Act,which has not yet received the proper attention of our highest courts. pic.twitter.com/qB0oKgVVMJ
— JGZuma Foundation (Official) (@JGZ_Foundation) October 26, 2021
Delivering judgment on Tuesday, KwaZulu-Natal High Court Judge Piet Koen said Zuma’s argument was far-fetched as the senior prosecutor was constitutionally mandated to lead his prosecution, IOL reported.
He also dismissed the argument that Downer lacked the independence and impartiality to lead his prosecution, as doing so would taint the case and impugn all the rules of a fair trial.
Koen said if such an excuse would be advanced against prosecutors, a few, if any, would lead prosecutions.
According to EWN, Koen ruled that the 14 grounds of Zuma’s attack on Downer were largely speculative and based on hearsay evidence.
“I conclude in regard to the 14 specific grounds raised, commenting on each individually, that many were based on speculation or suspicion or are based on inadmissible hearsay evidence and not on fact,” the report quoted Koen as saying.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) declared itself ready to call the first witness, Jacaranda FM reported.
“We welcome the judgement because it has reaffirmed our argument that the issue of political interference and bias was pronounced by two courts, the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein and the full court that was sitting here hearing the permanent stay of prosecution by Mr Zuma,” the report quoted NPA’s Mthunzi Mhaga as saying.
Zuma faced 16 counts of fraud, corruption, racketeering, and money laundering in connection with the arms deal.
The matter was set to resume on April 2022.
Picture: Getty Images
Compiled by Reginald Nhlapo