Jacob Zuma Given Green Light to Prosecute Advocate Billy Downer Privately, NPA Says He Has No Grounds

Jacob Zuma Given Green Light to Prosecute Advocate Billy Downer Privately, NPA Says He Has No Grounds

  • Former President Jacob Zuma has been granted a nolle prosequi certificate that allows him to privately prosecute Advocate Billy Downer
  • The National Prosecuting Authority said the certificate is issued when the prosecuting authority has declined to prosecute a particular case
  • The NPA said that it would support Downer to defend himself if Zuma planned to take the matter forward privately

PAY ATTENTION: Follow Briefly News on Twitter and never miss the hottest topics! Find us at @brieflyza!

NKANDLA - Former President Jacob Zuma can officially take on state lawyer, Advocate Billy Downer, privately. The National Prosecuting Authority confirmed that he has been issued a nolle prosequi certificate.

This comes after Zuma’s lawyers made a request for legal leave when the Director of Public Prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal declined to prosecute Downer due to insufficiency of evidence.

Jacob Zuma, privately prosecute, Adv Billy Downer, NPA, Certificate, no evidence
Former President Jacob Zuma was granted a certificate that allows him to privately prosecute Advocate Billy Downer. Image: Michele Spatari/Pool & Nic Bothma/AFP
Source: Getty Images

According to NPA national spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga, the certificate is issued when the prosecuting authority has declined to prosecute a particular case and a party has an interest to pursue a private prosecution. Zuma opened a criminal case against Downer, who is the lead prosecutor in the arms deal corruption case, a few months ago, News24 reported.

Read also

Durban school teacher shot in the head in Newlands West, police investigate attempted murder

However, the NPA said it would not be prosecuting the advocate. Mhaga added that the NPA agrees with the Director of Public Prosecutions that the charges against Downer are baseless.

PAY ATTENTION: Follow us on Instagram - get the most important news directly in your favourite app!

The NPA said it is fully behind Downer and is offering its full support. Mhaga claimed there is no merit in any private prosecution. The NPA said that it would support Downer to defend himself if Zuma planned to take the matter forward privately, according to Eyewitness News.

SA divided over the private prosecution

Social media users are either singing praises for former President Jacob Zuma or calling him out for avoiding facing the courts:

@WendelBloem1 said:

“Zuma will go down in history as the champion of muddying the waters, delays and diversion in his own prosecution. He will do anything to avoid his own day in court.”

Read also

President Cyril Ramaphosa volunteers to approach ANC Integrity Commission over farm robbery allegations

@MulaudziTsikoo wrote:

“Thank you, let the trial begin.”

@pgmaumela posted:

“This is a joke, right? Anyway, we know that you will go for private prosecution in September.”

@thobanithe4th commented:

“Now that you have the certificate, you are in a good position to go for private prosecution. Good luck.”

JayTee2404 commented:

“Billy Downer gives thieves sleepless nights.”

@VonHunx added:

“I just wish bab'Zuma would leave all politics and enjoy his old age in peace. He's so frail and it's almost like anytime it'll be buckets up.”

Supreme Court of Appeal dismisses Jacob Zuma's appeal to have Billy Downer removed from arms deal trial

In a related matter, Briefly News also reported former President Jacob Zuma has once again lost another bid to have Advocate Billy Downer removed from his arms deal corruption trial as the lead prosecutor. Zuma has long believed that Downer is biased and that will result in an unfair trial. This comes after the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed his application to review the decision made by the Pietermaritzburg High Court by Judge Piet Koen.

Read also

Bantu Holomisa calls on Parliament to investigate Ramaphosa's farm robbery, says it's “greatly destructive”

On Thursday night, 26 May, the Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ) issued a statement denying the claims that the SCA was purposefully delaying Zuma's appeals, according to News24.

PAY ATTENTION: check out news exactly for YOU ➡️ find "Recommended for you" block and enjoy!

Source: Briefly News

Authors:
Bianca Lalbahadur avatar

Bianca Lalbahadur Bianca Lalbahadur is a current affairs journalist at Briefly News. With a knack for writing hard-hitting content, she is dedicated to being the eyes and ears of South Africans. As a young and vibrant journalist, Bianca is passionate about providing quality and factual stories that impact citizens. She graduated from the Independent Institute of Education in 2017 and has worked at several award-winning Caxton associated community newspapers.

Online view pixel