Downer has a long history with the case, having secured a corruption conviction against Zuma’s financial adviser Schabir Shaik in 2005, which led to Zuma stepping down as deputy state president in Thabo Mbeki’s government.

In a report in Times Select today, the online newspaper reveals that the lead prosecutor in his ongoing arms deal corruption case has taken issue with with how former president Jacob Zuma referred to him in his answering affidavit.

Zuma claimed that advocate Billy Downer has a personal hatred for Zuma and that he may even have been having “withdrawal symptoms” from apartheid.

Zuma even implied that Downer is two-faced and has an “aversion” to the truth, effectively labelling him a liar, which Downer believes amounts to statements that are “scandalous and vexatious” and “untrue and unwarranted”.

Downer wants more than a dozen such accusations and characterisations against him withdrawn before the High Court in Pietermaritzburg, and for Zuma to personally bear the costs of Downer’s application. He has reportedly expressed concern that the state’s case and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) was being prejudiced by Zuma and his legal team’s personal attacks on him.

Downer has a long history with the case, having secured a corruption conviction against Zuma’s financial adviser Schabir Shaik in 2005, which led to Zuma stepping down as deputy state president in Thabo Mbeki’s government.

If the court does not strike out Zuma’s allegations and insulting comments against Downer, he has asked that they be examined by the court under oath.

Earlier this year, Zuma claimed in his affidavit that no one else in South Africa has supposedly suffered as much “personal and political prejudice” since the dawn of democracy in the country.

He accused the NPA of mistreating and humiliating him, to such an extent that his suffering has been unparalleled.

Zuma and his lawyers repeated long-held claims that the arms deal investigation against him was politically manipulated and processes were abused, and that Zuma became a “career obsession” for some prosecutors, especially Downer.

Zuma once again referred to the so-called spy tapes as evidence that his case had been politically manipulated. The evidence of the tapes led to charges being dropped prior to Zuma becoming president, but the courts later ruled that should not have happened.

The recordings revealed a discussion between former NPA boss Bulelani Ngcuka and former Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy discussing the timing of charging Zuma.

In 2017 the appeals court confirmed a high court decision that then NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe had erred in making the call to drop charges in 2009.

Zuma’s application for a permanent stay of prosecution for his corruption trial is set to be heard over three days from May 20.

The trial, which is yet to begin, is linked to the controversial R60 billion defence force arms deal concluded in 1999, which saw several multinational companies around the world providing technology and equipment.

It is alleged that multinational arms company Thales paid bribes to Zuma — via Shaik — in order to protect the company from a probe into the arms deal, in which Thales had secured a lucrative R2.6 billion contract to supply combat systems for the South African navy.

It is claimed that Thales paid Zuma — who was deputy president of the country at the time — R500,000 a year for political cover.

Zuma and Thales have both asked the court to stop the prosecution.

In an earlier affidavit, Zuma said his prosecution had “all the attributes of a case that should be stayed permanently”.

“The delays have been extremely long, the pre-trial irregularities glaring. The prejudice to me is blatant. There are no victims or complainants and the political interference in the prosecution passes as other circumstances or factors the court should take into account,” said the affidavit.

In the affidavit submitted by Thales, company lawyer Christine Guerrier said the decision to reinstate the charges against the company was “unlawful” and that Thales’ “rights to a fair trial have been violated”.

The company has cited the long delay as an overriding factor and that the “employees involved in the events underpinning the charges are not available to provide [the company] with instructions … to assist [Thales] in presenting its defence at trial”.

Zuma is accused number one and is facing one count of racketeering, two counts of corruption, one count of money laundering and 12 counts of fraud for allegedly receiving bribe money from Thales via Shaik.

Thales is accused number two and is facing one count of racketeering, two counts of corruption and one count of money laundering.

https://newsoweto.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/zuma-court.jpghttps://newsoweto.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/zuma-court-150x150.jpg[email protected]NationalDowner Jacob Zuma
Downer has a long history with the case, having secured a corruption conviction against Zuma’s financial adviser Schabir Shaik in 2005, which led to Zuma stepping down as deputy state president in Thabo Mbeki’s government. In a report in Times Select today, the online newspaper reveals that the lead prosecutor in his...