Zuma loses special plea bid to have prosecutor Downer removed

Former President Jacob Zuma


Former president Jacob Zuma has lost his bid to have lead prosecutor Advocate 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 both law and fact.

The matter is standing down for the representatives of the state, Zuma and his co-accused French arms company, to arrange dates for the trial.

The judge gave a 20-minute summary of his 187-page written judgment.

There was a small gathering of people and a high police presence outside the Pietermaritzburg high court on Tuesday ahead of Zuma’s big day in court.

Zuma believed that if his application to remove Downer was successful, he should be acquitted and he would be a free man.

This comes after Zuma laid criminal charges against the prosecutor for allegedly leaking his medical records. Zuma filed the charges at the Pietermaritzburg police station last week.



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