Downer argues court should deny Zuma’s bid to remove him from corruption trial

Zuma accused Advocate Billy Downer of bias and misconduct but in October the court dismissed the case after it found the accusations were speculative and not enough to warrant his removal.

FILE: Former South African President Jacob Zuma stands in the dock during the recess of his corruption trial at the Pietermaritzburg High Court in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, on 26 May 2021. Picture: Phill Magakoe/AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Advocate Billy Downer has argued that the Pietermaritzburg High Court should deny former president Jacob Zuma’s application to appeal the decision for him not to be removed from his corruption trial which stemmed from the controversial 1999 arms deal.

Zuma has accused Downer of bias and misconduct but in October the court dismissed the case after it found the accusations against Downer were speculative and not enough to warrant his removal.

In November, Zuma filed papers to challenge Judge Piet Koen's decision.

Zuma has accused the state of leaking vital information, which included his medical records to the media and opened a criminal complaint against him.

In his response to Zuma’s bid, Downer argued that the former president had no right to take Koen’s dismissal of his plea to the Supreme Court of Appeal and could only do so after he was convicted and sentenced.