Zuma’s private prosecution bid against Ramaphosa has a slim chance of success: analyst

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Legal Analyst Mpumelelo Zikalala says there is a slim chance that former President Jacob Zuma’s private prosecution bid against President Cyril Ramaphosa will be successful.

Zikalala argues that the President does not have the power to interfere in the work of the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) and other legal practitioners.

The President approached the High Court in Johannesburg on an urgent basis to interdict Zuma’s private prosecution bid. Ramaphosa is asking the court to hear his application on the 10th of January next year and excuse him from appearing before it on the 19th as directed by the former President’s summons.

Zuma launched a private prosecution bid against Ramaphosa for allegedly contravening the NPA Act on the disclosure of his medical records by prosecutor Billy Downer and journalist Karyn Maughan.

But Zikalala believes the move has little chance of success.

“What he’s being accused of is certainly not something that he cannot be able to do. You can’t be accused of breaking the law or you can’t be accused of not wanting to break the law because the bone of contention in this case they are saying, you did not act against advocate Billy Downer. But it’s not the prerogative of the President to do so. It is the prerogative of the Minister, it’s the prerogative of the Head of the NPA, or the National Director of Public Prosecution to do that. And the law is very clear when it comes to legal practitioners even the Legal Practice Council has jurisdiction so it’s not the job of the President to meddle in the prosecutions which are taking place.”