Former president Jacob Zuma is threatening to lay a criminal charge against Advocate Billy Downer following the alleged leak of a doctor’s letter on his health to a journalist.

This emerged in the Pietermaritzburg High Court as legal teams wrapped up their arguments in the application for Advocate Billy Downer to recuse himself.

Court proceedings below:

Zuma and French arms company Thales are facing charges of corruption, racketeering and money laundering in connection with the 1999 multi-billion rand arms deal.

Zuma’s advocate Dali Mpofu says if the court does not take steps on the leaked letter, Zuma plans to lay a criminal charge.

“Anybody My Lord . . . Yourself My Lord with respect, me, anyone else . . How would you feel if your family members find out from a newspaper report that you suffer from a condition which poses a significant risk to your life? And you’re told, ‘that’s merely, you know.’  And people, relatives, friends – must find that out because of leakage by the NPA.”

Witness request

Earlier, the state argued that Zuma’s application for the court to call witnesses to determine if there was political meddling in his case, is foreign to South African law.

State prosecutor advocate Wim Trengove told the court that the defence wants an inquiry into issues that the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled on in 2017.

“There are no materials dispute or fact. He [Zuma] is not asking for an opportunity to produce any other evidence. He realises that conspiracy theories do not stand up against the credible first-hand reputation of these conspiracy theories. Therefore he asks for a fresh judiciary initiated inquiry into the question whether he has a special defence,” adds Trengove.