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‘Let the trial begin’ — Mzansi reacts to Jacob Zuma losing special plea

26 October 2021 - 13:45
Former President Jacob Zuma lost his special plea bid to have prosecutor Billy Downer removed from the trial in which he faces corruption and fraud charges. File photo.
Former President Jacob Zuma lost his special plea bid to have prosecutor Billy Downer removed from the trial in which he faces corruption and fraud charges. File photo.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

There are mixed reactions to former president Jacob Zuma’s failed bid to have prosecutor Billy Downer removed from his corruption trial. 

Pietermaritzburg high court judge Piet Koen said Zuma’s application — that Downer had no title to prosecute in the matter because he was biased — was incorrect in law and fact.

Zuma and French arms company Thales Group are facing fraud, corruption and racketeering charges. The trial will begin on April 11, 2022. 

Some have welcomed the ruling, saying Zuma must face the consequences of his alleged actions while others said the ruling came as no surprise as they had expected him to lose the bid.

Spokesperson for the JG Zuma Foundation Mzwanele Manyi told Newzroom Afrika “the judgment is one of the most irrational pronouncements I have ever heard”.

He accused the judge of disregarding alleged criminal conduct by Downer for allegedly leaking the medical records of the former president.

“You can’t be prosecuted by somebody with dirty hands. You can’t be prosecuted by someone who has allegations that are substantiated in affidavits,” said Manyi.

Here are some responses on social media: 


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