Zuma dealt blow as application for leave to appeal is dismissed

The high court in Pietermaritzburg has dismissed former president Jacob Zuma’s application for leave to appeal a dismissal of his private prosecution.

The private prosecution bid against state prosecutor, advocate Billy Downer, and journalist Karyn Maughn stems from allegations by Zuma that Downer leaked his medical records.

Downer is a senior prosecutor in the former president’s arms deal trial. He allegedly shared the confidential medical records with Maughn.

In response, Downer and Maughan filed applications seeking a review and dismissal of the summonses, vehemently denying the accusations.

Throughout the legal battle, Downer and Maughan argued that the former statesman was misusing the court process and pursuing the private prosecution with hidden motives.

They contended that the documents in question were already part of the public court record before being published in the media, asserting that they did not act unlawfully.

In June, judge Paul Wallis delivered a verdict, granting an interdict that prohibits the former statesman from restarting or continuing the private prosecution against the duo.

Additionally, the court ruled that Zuma is responsible for covering the costs of the application, following an attorney and own client scale.

This includes the expenses incurred by two counsels employed.

On Monday, Zuma returned to court to obtain permission to appeal the Wallis’ ruling, which found that the private prosecution was an abuse of the legal process.

However, his application was dismissed, with costs.

The court preserved its conclusion that another court would unlikely arrive at a different decision.

Handing down his judgement, judge Gregory Kruger emphasized that the court had already examined the grounds for appeal and addressed them in its initial judgment.

While acknowledging the significance of the case, Kruger stated that he did not find compelling reasons to grant leave to appeal.

“We have reached the conclusion that Mr Zuma’s arguments lack merit,” said Kruger.


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