NPA to probe Zuma claims that Downer gave confidential info to journalist

Former President Jacob Zuma has opened a case at the Pietermaritzburg Police Station, claiming that Billy Downer had broken the law.

FILE: Jacob Zuma’s legal team and senior State prosecutor Advocate Billy Downer exchange a few words in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on 23 February 2021. Picture: Nkosikhona Duma/Eyewitness News

DURBAN - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said that it would look into claims by former President Jacob Zuma that prosecutor Billy Downer gave confidential information to a journalist.

Zuma has opened a case at the Pietermaritzburg Police Station, claiming that Downer had broken the law.

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Downer has been representing the State in Zuma's corruption case and the former president has been trying to have him removed.

Attention will now shift to the High Court in Pietermaritzburg to pronounce on whether it will keep Downer on for Zuma’s corruption case. That decision is expected next Tuesday.

However, Wim Trengove, also representing the State, has already insisted in Zuma’s corruption case that the claims of bias by the former president against Downer were concluded many years ago.

But Zuma insists that they are new, alleging that Downer handed over his medical records to a journalist.

Jacob Zuma Foundation spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi explained the former president's stance: “His Excellency President Zuma understands that giving or leaking information that is obtained in the courts and scope of work is a criminal offence under the NPA Act and punishable by severe sentence,” he said.

The NPA said that it would look carefully at the latest claims.

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