Ramaphosa's Cabinet is costing SA more than Zuma's Cabinet

Ramaphosa’s Cabinet is costing SA more than Zuma’s Cabinet Images: GCIS.

Ramaphosa gives Zuma until Wednesday to drop case – former President insists he’ll drag him to court

Ramaphosa extended the deadline by two days at the request of Zuma’s camp. However, the former president’s people insist they will not withdraw the summons.

Ramaphosa's Cabinet is costing SA more than Zuma's Cabinet

Ramaphosa’s Cabinet is costing SA more than Zuma’s Cabinet Images: GCIS.

The State Attorney wrote to former President Jacob Zuma’s camp on behalf of Cyril Ramaphosa to inform them they have until Wednesday, 21 December, to withdraw a summons that orders the President to appear in court in 2023.

READ: Zuma vs Ramaphosa: President gives his predecessor until Monday to drop case


The South African previously reported the deadline to withdraw the summons was Monday, 19 December.

The action was launched on the eve of the ANC Elective Conference on Thursday, 16 December. Zuma alleges that Ramaphosa was an accessory after the fact in his private prosecution against NPA advocate Billy Downer and News24 journalist Karyn Maughan.

The former President alleges that Downer improperly shared information about his medical condition with Maughan.

The journalist and News24 said the documents were public as they were filed at court and were not sealed by a judge. The publication added that Maughan did not reveal the details of Zuma’s condition and said she did not obtain it from Downer.

Zuma’s private prosecution has been viewed as another delaying tactic in the ongoing arms deal trial, and the move against Ramaphosa could have derailed his ANC Presidential re-election campaign.

READ: Cyril Ramaphosa retains ANC Presidency

“Mr Zuma’s charges are based on an accusation that President Ramaphosa failed to act after Mr Zuma complained about improper conduct by Advocates Downer and Breitenbach. These charges are completely spurious and unfounded,” said Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya in Ramaphosa’s initial response to the summons.

Ramaphosa said he responded to Zuma’s complaint and listed his steps, including referring the matter to Minister of Justice Ronald Lamola, who is responsible for National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) oversight.

“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,” said Magwenya.

According to reports, the State Attorney said the two days extension on the deadline came at the request of Zuma’s lawyers.

“We hold instructions to approach the court for appropriate interdictory relief pending the setting aside of the summons. Alternatively, the summons and the certificate, should your client decline to withdraw the summons unconditionally,” said the State Attorney in the latest letter dated 18 December.

The Director of Public Prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal awarded Zuma a nolle prosequi certificate on 21 November. The document declared that the DPP declined to prosecute anybody in relation to Zuma’s complaint and paved the way for him to prosecute Downer and Maughan privately.

Zuma believes the certificate allows him to bring whoever he wants before the court in relation to the matter, according to the Mail and Guardian.

Ramaphosa’s camp differs and says the approach is irredeemably flawed. The State Attorney expects the summons and certificate to be set aside and declared invalid by the courts.

Ramaphosa’s lawyers intend to claim punitive costs if Zuma does not withdraw the summons. The former President’s spokesperson stressed he would not withdraw the case.

“The case is set down for 19 January 2023. Prez Zuma is not going to litigate through letters and media,” said Mzwanele Manyi on Monday.

On Tuesday, the Zuma camp doubled down and said they only requested the extension to Ramaphosa’s deadline to deal with “frivolous” issues.