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“There Cannot Be 1 Law For Zuma And Another For Ramaphosa” – Ex-president Zuma

South Africa’s former President Jacob Zuma says his urgent court application to block his private prosecution of President Cyril Ramaphosa will test “whether Lady Justice has removed her blindfold in South Africa“.

Zuma made the remarks in his replying affidavit to Ramaphosa’s court application to avoid appearing in the criminal court on Thursday, January 19. IOL cites him as saying:

There cannot be one law for Zuma and another law for Ramaphosa if the rule of law and equality before the law are still the guiding principles of our justice system.

He also said:

1). Even the late former president Nelson Mandela was hauled before a court for cross-examination when it was then unprecedented for a head of state. 

2). Ramaphosa was capable of obtaining effective relief in due course before the scheduled criminal trial.

3). There is no reason to give [Ramaphosa] preferential treatment over other accused persons, simply because he happens to be president adding “There is no separate law for presidents (or even former presidents) and another law for ‘ordinary’ people.”

Zuma is accusing the president of being an accomplice in breaching provisions of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Act after the authority allegedly unlawfully leaked his medical records to the media.

Ramaphosa says Zuma is abusing legal processes and that he requires a certificate of non-prosecution from the NPA in order to initiate private prosecution.

Zuma’s court papers in the high court in Johannesburg say Ramaphosa’s application to block the private prosecution was based on the claims of an improper motive and political conspiracy. 

Zuma said he was determined to ensure that Ramaphosa faced the might of the law.

The offence for which Ramaphosa is charged carries the possible heavy penalty of 15 years imprisonment.

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