Former President Jacob Zuma has laid a criminal charge against the lead prosecutor in his criminal trial, Advocate Billy Downer, at the Pietermaritzburg police station.
Zuma was accompanied by the Spokesperson from the Jacob Zuma Foundation, Mzwanele Manyi.
The charge is believed to be linked to Zuma’s claim that Downer leaked information about his current state of health to the media.
Zuma’s legal team alleges that a media house then made enquiries based on the contents of the medical report.
The latest news of a formal charge against Downer comes ahead of what is expected to be a judgment on former President Jacob Zuma’s special plea calling for Downer’s recusal.
Addressing the media outside the police station, Manyi claims that Downer unlawfully leaked confidential information to a journalist. He says this amounts to criminal wrongdoing and interference.
“President Zuma learnt during the court proceedings in Pietermaritzburg that the Advocate Downer SC breached the afore mentioned provisions when he unlawfully handed a medical report involving his Excellency President Zuma in an affidavit leaked to a journalist Karen Morne and that annexure is attached here, says Manyi.
Manyi says Advocate Downer authorized the leaking of private and sensitive information obtained in the courts.
Jacob Zuma Foundation’s briefs media after laying a charge against Adv Billy Downer
Former President Jacob Zuma lays a criminal charge against Adv. Billy Downer
We need to indicate that we hold Mr Downer in high regard : NPA
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says it is concerned about the context within which former President Zuma has laid criminal charges against Advocate Downer.
NPA Spokesperson, Mthunzi Mhaga says Downer’s reputation speaks for itself.
“We need to indicate that we hold Mr Downer in high regard as the NPA because, throughout his career as a Prosecutor, he has carried himself with integrity. However, we will allow the director of public prosecution in the KZN province to deal with the matter as and when the docket has been brought to her attention by the law enforcement agencies,” says Mhaga
Reaction to Zuma’s criminal charges against adv. Billy Downer: Reitumetse Phiri
In September, Zuma was placed on medical parole. The Department of Correctional Services says the decision to grant Zuma medical parole was informed by a medical report it had received.