A full bench of the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg has unanimously dismissed former president Jacob Zuma’s attempt to appeal against the setting aside of his private prosecution of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Zuma made an application for leave to appeal a July judgment that declared his private prosecution of Ramaphosa unlawful and unconstitutional and set it aside.
In a brief virtual appearance on Tuesday, Gauteng High Court Judge Lebogang Modiba said the full bench had prepared a written judgment that would be made available later and uploaded to Caselines and released to the Southern African Legal Information Institute (Saflii) that publishes legal information for free public access.
Modiba said Zuma’s application for leave to appeal the previous decision was dismissed with costs.
“I should mention, it’s a unanimous judgment of this court,” Modiba said before the virtual court was adjourned.
Zuma accused Ramaphosa of failing to take action against advocate Billy Downer SC for the alleged leak of his medical records to veteran journalist Karyn Maughan. This related to a separate private prosecution that Zuma was pursuing in the Pietermaritzburg High Court in KwaZulu-Natal which was also dismissed.
On Monday, the Pietermaritzburg High Court dismissed Zuma’s application for leave to appeal that dismissal.
The Presidency issued a statement on Tuesday, welcoming the judgment.
“As we have always maintained from the onset, the private prosecution had no basis in law and constituted an abuse of private prosecution provisions,” spokesperson to the president, Vincent Magwenya said.
In court, Ramaphosa’s legal team maintained that Zuma had ulterior motives by issuing him with summons on the eve of the ANC’s 55th national conference in December last year.
However, Zuma’s legal team argued that the KwaZulu-Natal Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) delayed issuing the documents.