- 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
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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.
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.
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.
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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:
“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.”
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“Thank you, let the trial begin.”
“This is a joke, right? Anyway, we know that you will go for private prosecution in September.”
“Now that you have the certificate, you are in a good position to go for private prosecution. Good luck.”
“Billy Downer gives thieves sleepless nights.”
“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.
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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.
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Source: Briefly News