Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Zuma Foundation insists it has a legit certificate to prosecute Ramaphosa

By Sihle Mavuso | IOL News |

The Jacob Zuma Foundation has said it has the right legal certificate from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) which allows former President Jacob Zuma to privately prosecute President Cyril Ramaphosa.

This is in response to the accusation that Zuma jumped the gun in privately prosecuting Ramaphosa when the NPA has not declined to do so and granted him the mandatory nolle prosequi (non-prosecution) certificate.

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Zuma wants Ramaphosa to be prosecuted as part of the ongoing private prosecution of the NPA’s advocate Billy Downer whom he accuses of misconduct by leaking his medical information to the media.

He alleges that Ramaphosa, as the president of South Africa, is an “accessory after the fact” in the alleged criminal offence.

Zuma alleges that Ramaphosa failed to act when he complained about improper conduct by advocates Downer and Andrew Breitenbach SC.

The news of the private prosecution broke on Thursday night and Friday morning, Ramaphosa pushed back by claiming that Zuma was abusing the justice system and the case was hopeless.

“These charges are completely spurious and unfounded …President Ramaphosa promptly responded to Mr Zuma’s letter indicating steps he had taken, including referring the matter to the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola who bears the oversight responsibility over the NPA.

“President Ramaphosa requested Minister Lamola to refer complaints of improper conduct against advocates Downer and Breitenbach to the Legal Practice Council.

“President Ramaphosa does not interfere in the work of the NPA, nor does he have the power to do so. The President responded to Mr Zuma and took appropriate and legally permissible action,” the Presidency said in a statement.

But the Foundation says such a certificate was obtained last month when advocate Elaine Zungu, the Director of Public Prosecution in KwaZulu-Natal amended the one she gave in the Downer case.

“The simple and basic truth is that the NPA recently issued President Zuma a revised nolle prosequi certificate which legally entitles him to prosecute any person connected to or in connection with the criminal matter of Zuma v Downer and Another Accused.

“The revised certificate was issued three weeks ago on 21 November 2022 upon the request of the Private Prosecutor due to the spurious claims made by Accused 2 in the Pietermaritzburg case that the 6 June certificate did not cover her.

“That issue has now also been put to bed. In its wisdom, the NPA chose to cast the net even wider than the specific request of the Private Prosecutor and included “any person” connected to the matter.

“In law, it includes all those who are perpetrators, accomplices or accessories after the fact, one of whom is Mr Cyril Ramaphosa.

“The matter is that simple and straightforward,” the Foundation said in a statement.