Pietermaritzburg High Court to hear yet another application by Zuma

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The Pietermaritzburg High Court is today expected to hear yet another application by former President Jacob Zuma for the recusal of lead prosecutor, Advocate Billy Downer, from his arms deal fraud and corruption trial.

Judge Piet Koen dismissed this special plea at the end of 2020, but the trial had to start again after Koen recused himself.

Earlier this month, Zuma lost his appeal in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), against the enforcement order of a ruling which set aside his private prosecution of Downer and journalist Karyn Maughan.

Legal expert Mpumelelo Zikalala says Zuma’s legal team will again have to make submissions before Judge Nkosinathi Chili after the matter started afresh.

“The matter has been decided before by the previous judge, Judge Koen, and also the SCA and the Constitutional Court had made a determination. So it will be interesting to know what type of new things are going to be dealt with or new submissions are going to be made by the former President, except the only difference at the time in which the first application was made – we did not have a lead prosecutor that was facing criminal charges,” says Zikalala.

VIDEO | A look at SCA ruling in Zuma’s private prosecution matter:

Legal analyst Reitumetse Phiri slammed Zuma for what he says are continued delaying tactics aimed at hindering the start of his trial.

Phiri says the strategy has been used too many times.

“This strategy is quite clear now, the Supreme Court of Appeal called [it] the Stalingrad strategy. I think in the judgment that we got in relation to the appeal in the [journalist] Karyn Maughan and [advocate] Billy Downer case, the SCA was clear that the law reports repeat with many instances where Zuma has sought to delay his criminal trial through taking applications such as this one.”