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Zuma takes aim at NPA’s Downer

In a world full of uncertainty, it’s rather comforting to know that some things are inevitable – even if those things are death, taxes and former president Jacob Zuma finding a way to dodge the day in court he insists he really wants. 🙂

As we’ve told you previously, his legal team’s latest tactic is to question prosecutor Billy Downer’s impartiality. Who is Downer? He is set to lead the State’s case against Zuma on charges of corruption, money laundering and racketeering, all related to the notorious, decades-old arms deal. Zuma has long maintained his innocence. Downer has been on the case for YEARS, as one tactic after the other has delayed the case from being heard. Now he finally gets to argue it and… Zuma’s team is saying he’s got a vendetta. On Tuesday and Wednesday, his lawyers argued before the Pietermaritzburg High Court that Downer is not impartial and has made prosecuting the case a personal legacy project. 🥱 It’s really just another delaying tactic in a case that has yet to hear its first witness!


Meanwhile Zuma’s medical records, and his health more generally, have become central to the ongoing case, after he was granted medical parole earlier this month after being convicted of and imprisoned for contempt of the Constitutional Court. There was more back and forth about that between opposing legal teams this week. The upshot of all this is that you’re in store for LOTS more of these micro arms deal trial updates. When will the actual trial start? Hopefully, after the matter of Downer’s impartiality is settled. Judge Piet Koen has promised he’ll try to deliver a written judgment on October 26 on this aspect.

This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 23 September 2021. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.

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