Zuma advised to appeal ‘irrational’ judgment dismissing Downer recusal application

Zuma to appeal ‘irrational’ judgment dismissing Downer recusal application

Former president Jacob Zuma will take to the Supreme Court of Appeal to challenge what he believes to be an irrational judgment by the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

Jacob Zuma

The High Court dismissed the former president's application to have the state prosecutor Billy Downer removed from his corruption case.

The former president wanted Downer to recuse himself as prosecutor in the corruption trial, but the court dismissed his application.

Zuma and French arms company Thales are facing charges of corruption, racketeering and money laundering in connection with the country’s multi-billion-rand arms deal.

The foundation’s spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi said they believe Judge Piet Koen’s ruling was irrational and must be challenged.

“This judgment is one of the most irrational pronouncements I have ever heard on two counts. The first thing is that the judge makes reference to the order that he had given on paragraph three on the initial order, in that order the judge said the state is allowed to appoint a medical team to examine president Zuma and also that the medical doctor of president Zuma is allowed to come and give oral evidence. But he gave a condition ‘if necessary’ today he makes a u-turn he now says it was unconditional.

“The second thing, the title to prosecute has a wider meaning. He decides not to read too wider definition," said Manyi.

The foundation added it believes the judgement made several material and gross errors of law.

“We have seen the rule of law being trampled upon by a court itself, this cannot be, we are going to advice the former president to appeal this irrationality that just transpired here today. It is a traverse of justice, it cannot be accepted at any standard,” said Manyi.

Meanwhile, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) declared itself ready to call the first witness.

“We welcome the judgement because it has reaffirmed our argument that the issue of political interference and bias was pronounced by two courts, the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein and the full court that was sitting here hearing the permanent  stay of prosecution by Mr Zuma,” said the NPA’s Mthunzi Mhaga.

“Now this is the third judgment that reaffirms our position because throughout our argument we were saying  we don’t know why they are rehashing the same judgment that was dismissed.”


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