SCA's Maya erred in dismissing Zuma reconsideration application - JZ Foundation

Zuma petitioned the SCA last month after the Pietermaritzburg High Court dismissed his special plea application for the recusal of Advocate Billy Downer in the corruption case against him and French arms dealer, Thales.

FILE: Former President Jacob Zuma in the Pietermaritzburg High Court where he appeared on corruption charges on 15 October 2019. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The Jacob Zuma Foundation believes that Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) Judge President Mandisa Maya erred when she dismissed his reconsideration application.

Zuma petitioned the SCA last month after the Pietermaritzburg High Court dismissed his special plea application for the recusal of Advocate Billy Downer in the corruption case against him and French arms dealer, Thales.

The State has welcomed Maya’s decision, saying it paves the way for the trial to proceed on 15 August but the Jacob Zuma Foundation said that the trial would not proceed fairly Downer is not removed from the prosecution team.

Spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi: "The NPA is creating an artificial innocence of Downer so we are considering whether we should compel the NPA to do the right thing, issue that certificate so that we can do private prosecution. On the other side, we're not happy with this judgment indeed. We think there are exceptional circumstances. We think the judge has erred. What we're going to do about that, we'll pronounce on that next week."

Meanwhile, legal experts say that Zuma’s next option is to approach the Constitutional Court following the SCA's dismissal of his reconsideration application.

The fate of the former president’s bid to have Downer removed from the high-profile case against him and Thales could now lie in the hands of the country’s apex court.

this is if Zuma takes the decision to escalate the matter.

According to legal expert Mpumelelo Zikalala, the former president has limited time to do so.

Legal expert Advocate Mannie Witz said that if Zuma approached the Constitutional Court, the outcome of this process could be heard before the Pietermaritzburg High Court’s holding date of 1 August.

The NPA said that it was ready to proceed with the trial.