Advocate Billy Downer Files Court Papers Asking Zuma to Cough Up R1 Million As Security for Legal Costs

Advocate Billy Downer Files Court Papers Asking Zuma to Cough Up R1 Million As Security for Legal Costs

  • Former President Jacob Zuma is about to feel the financial pinch of lodging a private prosecution case against State advocate Billy Downer
  • Downer has filed court papers at the KZN High Court calling for Zuma to pay up R1 million as security for cost in case Mosholozi loses his case
  • Some South Africans believe Downer's actions indicate that he is guilty, while others highlighted that Zuma is wasting a lot of money

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PIETERMARITZBURG - Former President Jacob Zuma might be forced to cough up R1 million ahead of his private prosecution case against State advocate Billy Downer and News24 journalist Karyn Maughan.

State Advocate Billy Downer wants Jacob Zuma to pay up R1 million
State advocate Billy Downer wants surety that former President Jacob Zuma will be able to cover his costs if Zuma's case fails. Images: Jerome Delay & Michele Sparti
Source: Getty Images

Zuma has already put forward R90 000 at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate's Court as security for costs, but Downer wants the former president to pay more.

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In court papers filed at the KwaZulu-Natal High Court sitting in Pietermaritzburg, Downer stated that he wants to ensure Zuma will be able to pay for his costs in the event the prosecution fails, reports News24.

Downer and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) have hired one senior counsel, and two junior counsel's to represent him in the matter. The senior counsel charges R54 000 per day and R5 400 per hour, while the junior counsels charge R45 000 per day and R4 500 per hour.

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The state advocate also asked that Zuma should pay the security in cash or as a bank guarantee since Zuma is facing legal battles for his VBS Mutual Bank loan. Downer added that he has no faith that Zuma will be able to pay his costs in future if security is not granted.

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According to the Mail & Guardian, Downer has the full support of the NPA, who believes that Zuma is targeting the prosecutor to delay his arms deal corruption trial.

“The NPA and its leadership fully support Advocate Downer as we believe that these charges are without merit. They are only designed to intimidate him in the prosecution of Mr Zuma, and to further delay the trial," read part of the NPA's statement.

South Africans weigh in

South Africans have many opinions about Downer's latest court application. Some people have noted that Zuma seems to have a lot of money for court cases but can pay his VBS debt.

Others are convinced that Downer might be guilty and is trying to delay the private prosecution against him.

@OlwetuMaduna said:

"Yhooo should Baba fail, he will have to fork up 1 million..... his prosecution team should work harder to nail Karyn at least."

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@truthispower10 said:

"I love it, R1 million is a hefty amount to lose, whatever way you look at it... 90k Rands for what? Let the court game begins... @PresJGZuma @AdvDali_Mpofu over to you, put your money where your mouth is "

@SIMBA58912083 said:

"@MzwaneleManyi can u give us something here as well… someone is playing games…"

@ZoobanSingh said:

"Private prosecution ain’t easy. So a prior cost security is a par for the course."

@Saffer40 said:

"Shouldn't be a problem for him - him and his cronies fleeced us out of billions."

@Seismic20220222 said:

"He can’t pay his VBS bond, but he can waste so much money."

Jacob Zuma called to withdraw private prosecution case against journalist by international media body

Earlier, Briefly News reported that former President Jacob Zuma has been called to withdraw his private prosecution case against News24 journalist Karyn Maughan.

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The Committee to Protect Journalists(CPJ) stated on Tuesday, 20 September, journalists have the right to cover court proceedings without fear of intimidation.

Zuma is taking Maughan and long-time nemesis State advocate Billy Downer to court for publishing his private medical information. According to News24, Zuma believes that the National Prosecuting Authority Act was contravened when Downer handed Maughan a copy of his doctor's note when he was ill last year.

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Source: Briefly News

Lebogang Mashego avatar

Lebogang Mashego (Current Affairs HOD) Lebogang Mashego runs the Current Affairs desk. She joined the Briefly News team in 2021. She has 6 years of experience in the journalism field. Her journalism career started while studying at Rhodes University, where she worked for the Oppidan Press for 3 years. She worked as a lifestyle writer and editor at W24 and Opera News. She graduated with a BA degree majoring in Journalism and Media Studies in 2017. She's a recipient of the INMA Elevate Scholarship. Email:

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