S/Africa: Ramaphosa welcomes Zuma court ruling

South Africa's Presidency has welcomed Monday's high court ruling to stop former president Jacob Zuma's private prosecution of President Cyril…

South Africa’s Presidency has welcomed Monday’s high court ruling to stop former president Jacob Zuma’s private prosecution of President Cyril Ramaphosa which was scheduled for later this week.Zuma instituted a private prosecution case against Ramaphosa last month and alleged that the president was an “accessory after the fact” in the case against lead prosecutor Billy Downer in the public leaking of the former president’s medical records in a parole case which saw him released from prison after serving only two months of a 15-month sentence. 

Monday’s interdict means that Ramaphosa does not have to appear in court on Thursday as previously scheduled.

Presidential spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said the interdict was “an affirmation of President Ramaphosa’s contentions” with the private prosecution.

“The court affirmed all of the president’s key contentions: namely on jurisdiction of the court to hear the interdict application, and the urgency of the matter against a court appearance date based on a prima facie unlawful nolle prosequi,” the spokesperson said.

He added: “The court further found in the president’s favour on the violation of rights to personal freedom based on a prima facie defective summons.”

Magwenya said the judgment confirmed Ramaphosa’s position that the private prosecution “is motivated by the ulterior purpose, based on spurious and unfounded charges, constitutes an abuse of private prosecution provisions and demonstrates flagrant disregard for the law.” 

However, the court is yet to decide whether the former president’s private prosecution is lawful or not.

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