The Johannesburg High Court has overturned Former president Jacob Zuma bid for a private prosecution of his successor, President Cyril Ramaphosa. Zuma had served Ramaphosa with a summons accusing him of being an accessory after the fact in a separate case against State advocate Billy Downer and journalist Karyn Maughan.
However, the court deemed Zuma’s private prosecution unlawful and unconstitutional, stating that the allegations against Ramaphosa lacked merit and were brought with an ulterior motive. In addition, the court ordered Zuma to pay the costs incurred.
The legal battle between Zuma and Ramaphosa dates back to January when the Johannesburg High Court granted an interim interdict to halt the proceedings against the current president.
The court found that Zuma had failed to secure the necessary nolle prosequi certificate, which confirms the National Prosecuting Authority’s decision not to prosecute, as a prerequisite for a private prosecution. Furthermore, Zuma had not paid the required security fees. The court concluded that Zuma’s allegations against Ramaphosa would not result in a conviction and deemed the private prosecution an abuse of process.
This latest court ruling adds to the legal woes of Jacob Zuma, who has faced numerous legal challenges and allegations of corruption throughout his tenure as president. While Zuma continues to deny any wrongdoing, the Johannesburg High Court’s decision marks a significant blow to his attempts to prosecute his political opponents. The ruling reaffirms the importance of due process and upholding the rule of law, while also underscoring the limits of private prosecutions without proper legal grounds and evidence.