Jacob Zuma rescission

Photo by Emmanuel Croset / AFP

Arms deal: Zuma’s leave to appeal bid to be heard in court

In October 2021, Jacob Zuma lost his bid to have Billy Downer, the prosecutor in his arms deal, removed from the matter

Jacob Zuma rescission

Photo by Emmanuel Croset / AFP

The High Court in Pietermaritzburg is expected to hear an application by former president Jacob Zuma’s legal team, for leave to appeal a decision made by the same court in October 2021. Judge Piet Koen had dismissed Zuma’s bid for the state prosecutor in the case, Billy Downer, to be recused.

Zuma is expected to request Judge Koen to grant him leave to appeal his judgment with the belief that the Supreme Court of Appeal might come to a different conclusion on the matter.

According to a Tweet posted by the JGZ Foundation, Judge Koen made ‘several gross errors of law’.

“We confirm that Jacob Zuma has instructed his lawyers to appeal today’s judgment to the Supreme Court of Appeal. The Judge made several material and gross errors of law, and misdirections of fact, in interpreting Section 106 of the CP Act, which has not yet received the proper attention of our highest courts.”

JGZ Foundation


Jacob Zuma’s legal team maintains that Billy Downer cannot continue to be part of his arms deal trial, arguing prosecutorial misconduct. They claim there have been at least a dozen instances where Downer has acted unethically as a prosecutor. Downer has been working on the Zuma matter for decades. Unsurprisingly, the former president is not at all happy with his work.

The former president has also laid criminal charges against Downer. Zuma insists that the prosecutor leaked his medical records to the media. According to Zuma’s spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi on the day the charges were laid, Zuma has submitted a whole file of evidence against Downer.

The Zuma trial is now expected to get underway in April 2022

Zuma faces 16 charges of fraud, corruption, racketeering, and money-laundering related to the controversial multi-billion rand arms deal in the late 1990s. The former president is alleged to have received 783 suspicious payments to the tune of R1.2 million from Thales, through his disgraced former financial advisor Shabir Shaik. Zuma has denied the allegations and claims they are politically motivated.

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