- Former President Jacob Zuma headed to the Pietermaritzburg police station on Thursday with his daughter Duduzile Zuma
- Zuma has now formally laid criminal charges against Advocate Billy Downer whom Zuma says leaked his medical information to the press
- The National Prosecuting Authority says it would investigate the charges however, Downer is a prosecutor of integrity
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PIETERMARITZBURG - Former President Jacob Zuma was alongside his daughter Duduzile Zuma on Thursday, 21 October to officially lay charges against Advocate Billy Downer.
Zuma's move comes just a couple of days before the Pietermaritzburg High Court is set to give a verdict on his special plea to have Downer removed from his arms deal corruption trial.
Zuma refrained from addressing the media after laying charges, however, the Jacob Zuma foundation spokesman Mzwanele Manyi said that the decision to lay charges came after Zuma did not receive a response from President Cyril Ramaphosa.
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Zuma had lodged a criminal interference complaint to Ramaphosa regarding the Downer matter.
According to News24, if Downer is found guilty he could face imprisonment of 15 years.
National Prosecuting Authority weary about Zuma's timing
The National Prosecuting Authority has come out to speak on Zuma's decision to lay charges right before the judge in his special plea is set to happen.
Despite the concern, the NPA said it would investigate the charges Zuma has filed against Downer. The NPA has also defended Downer stating that he is a well-respected prosecutor who carries himself with integrity.
Mzansi reacts to Zuma being out and about while being supposedly ill
Social media users have commented on Zuma being out in public even though he is on medical parole. Here's what they had to say:
"Jacob Zuma learned a lot from his dear friend in corruption Shabir Shaik about faking health problems as he goes up down to open unnecessary case and attending secret nighty meetings."
"This sick prisoner is as useless as his #VoetsekANC #VoetsekCyril "
"JZ probably knows already who was given his medical info , probably just making it a public investigation to compromise and expose the recipient."
"This man has got no shame at all. At what point would he leave the desire for relevance and power?"
"So Billy Downer (a former apartheid prosecutor) has been weaponising Karyn Maughan @karynmaughan , a former apartheid journalist with information to destroy the character of Zuma? Yaa neh, indeed apartheid did not die."
"He's wasting his time and resources. His application will be thrown out."
"Can’t imagine how our terminally ill JZ took this weather on his way to the police station."
Zuma arms deal: NPA tired of litigating over lead prosecutor Billy Downer
Briefly News previously reported that the Pietermaritzburg High Court heard former President Jacob Zuma's legal representation give arguments on why lead prosecutor Billy Downer should be taken off from the prosecution team in the arms deal procurement trial against Zuma and Thales, a French weapons company.
Zuma has stated that Downer is actually compromised and has shown bias towards the former president. Zuma is also of the belief that Downer has some sort of vendetta against him.
However, the National Prosecuting Authority simply rubbished Zuma's claims and arguments and said the matter Zuma's team has brought forward has been litigated before.
Advocate Dali Mpofu and Advocate Thabani Masuku spent approximately four hours bringing forward reasons why Downer should no longer be on the case. It took that state, through Advocate Wim Trengove, less than an hour to argue against their points.