Former Pres Zuma legal team back in court in bid to have Downer removed

FORMER PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has approached the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in another bid to have State advocate Billy Downer removed from his corruption case.

The Jacob Zuma Foundation said on Wednesday evening that Zuma would be petitioning against the dismissal of his plea to remove Downer and the court’s refusal of his application to introduce new evidence.

This after the Pietermaritzburg High Court last month dismissed his application for leave to appeal its decision on state prosecutor advocate Billy Downer.

He said Zuma’s application had no prospect of success.

The former president wanted Downer recused from the arms deal corruption trial, saying he lacked the independence and impartiality to prosecute in the trial. 

Last year, Koen dismissed Zuma and his legal team’s special plea to have Downer removed from the trial. This led to the former president’s legal team, led by advocate Dali Mpofu, to lodge an appeal.

“The application to appeal and all related applications in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act, are all dismissed. The criminal trial shall proceed on the date as set by parties,” Koen said at the time.

Koen presented Zuma’s eight argument points separately, dismissing them and giving reasons why. One of the arguments argued by Mpofu alleged irregularities by the State and Koen.

Koen dismissed the allegation as “frivolous”.

Zuma faces multiple charges of fraud and corruption alongside French arms dealer Thales over the controversial multi-billion rand arms deal struck back when he was KwaZulu-Natal MEC for economic development, in the 1990s.

Zuma and a representative of Thales pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Image (Too much headache for former Pres JG Zuma).

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