- Former President Jacob Zuma's request for Advocate Billy Downer to withdraw himself as the lead prosecutor in his arms deal prosecution has been denied
- Judge Piet Koen ruled that Zuma has failed to show that Downer lacked the title to prosecute the former president
- South Africans could not help but laugh at the fact Zuma made his way to court despite being presumably ill
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PIETERMARITZBURG - Former President Jacob Zuma's special plea bid to have Advocate Billy Downer removed from the arms deal trial as the lead prosecutor has been thrown out.
Zuma is facing multiple charges related to fraud and corruption for the procurement of the arms deal tender deal, along with a French arms company Thales.
Judge Piet Koen ruled on Tuesday, 26 October that Zuma's legal representation failed to show that Downer lacked the title to prosecute, reports News24. Zuma had contended that he would not have a fair trial on the basis that Downer was not impartial towards him.
Koen stated that Zuma's reasoning was not enough to prove that Downer should be stripped of his title to prosecute. Koen says the trial is ready to begin as Zuma and Thales have already submitted not guilty pleas.
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The trial is set to begin on 11 April 2022. The state will be calling its first witness to the stand.
The National Prosecuting Authority issued a short statement on Twitter and stated that it welcomes the ruling.
South Africans react to Zuma's special plea being dismissed
Social media went abuzz as soon as Judge Pite Koen delivered his judgement. Some people were seemingly happy that Zuma's special was dismissed, while others felt people who are currently in power should be the ones being prosecuted.
Some people found it hilarious that Zuma made a court appearance despite being ill.
Here are some of their reactions:
"So Zuma being terminally ill, wakes up, dresses in a suit, arranges 80 car motorcade and bodyguards and only to be dismissed in 15 minutes judgement angeke."
"President Zuma will never win any case in South Africa....he should just make peace with it."
"The SA strategy on dealing with corruption is to punish a few high ranking former government members, while the current politicians gobble R15 billion in pure corruption."
"Dali Mpofu knew what was coming. He knows Zuma is pissing in the wind trying to avoid standing trial using his old Stalingrath tactics. Dali was absent knowing Zuma is fighting a losing battle all along. #jacobzuma #Zuma #zumamustfall"
Duduzile Zuma accompanies her father to lay charges against Advocate Billy Downer
Briefly News previously reported that 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 officially opened a case against Downer at the Pietermaritzburg police station. He alleges that Downer leaked his private health information to the media, according to TimesLIVE.
Source: Briefly News