Zuma’s bid to prosecute Downer, Maughan privately bites the dust

In a significant development, advocate Billy Downer and journalist Karyn Maughan emerged victorious when the high court in Pietermaritzburg granted their application to set aside former president Jacob Zuma’s private prosecution against them.

The private prosecution bid stems from allegations by Zuma, who accused Downer, a senior prosecutor in his arms deal trial, of leaking his confidential medical records to Maughan.

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 consistently argued that Zuma 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 had not acted unlawfully in their respective duties.

On Wednesday, 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 counsel employed.

“The respondent is interdicted and restrained from reinstituting, proceeding with or from taking any further steps pursuant to the private prosecution,” reads the judgement in part.

“The costs of this application are to be paid by the respondent on an attorney and own client scale, such costs to include the costs of two counsel where so employed.”


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