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NPA Issues Zuma With Certificate To Pursue Adv Downer In A Private Prosecution

NPA Issues Zuma With Certificate To Pursue Adv Downer In A Private Prosecution…  The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says it has issued former president Jacob Zuma with a certificate indicating he could pursue a private prosecution against state prosecutor Adv Billy Downer SC.

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Former president Jacob Zuma

 

The NPA said Zuma has been issued with a nolle prosequi certificate following a request by his lawyers regarding its decision to decline prosecuting Downer due to insufficiency of evidence.

Zuma laid charges against Downer, accusing him of leaking his [Zuma’s] medical records and further lodged a complaint of prosecutorial misconduct last year.

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The NPA said in a statement on Tuesday that it will ​not be deterred by attacks emanating from the rich and powerful in its quest to bring them to book for serious economic crimes.

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The NPA said the nolle prosequi certificate was handed out by the director of public prosecutions (DPP) in KwaZulu-Natal.

According to the NPA, a nolle prosequi certificate is issued when the prosecuting authority has declined to prosecute in a particular case to a party that has an interest to pursue private prosecution.

“The NPA agrees with the DPP that the charges laid against Adv Downer are baseless and cannot be sustained, hence her decision not to prosecute him. Adv Downer has the NPA’s full support and will continue to lead the prosecution team against Mr Zuma and Thales.
“Mr Zuma has the right to pursue a private prosecution and due process should be followed.”

The NPA added that Downer will of course defend himself in terms of the various legal remedies available to him. “The NPA will support Adv Downer in defending himself against what we consider to be an abusive private prosecution,” said NPA spokesperson Adv Mthunzi Mhaga.

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The NPA added that as progress was being made regarding the prosecutions of corruption and other serious economic crimes, particularly against the rich and the powerful, there were expectations that there will be attacks against NPA staff, in an attempt to evade justice.

“We will not be deterred by such attacks.  Adv Downer remains focused in ensuring  that the trial against Mr Zuma and Thales resumes on 15 August 2022,”  Mhaga added.

 

 

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