Zuma to oppose applications of Maughan, Downer as he presses on with private prosecution bid

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Jacob Zuma addresses his supporters outside his house in Nkandla in 2021.
Jacob Zuma addresses his supporters outside his house in Nkandla in 2021.
PHOTO: Gallo Images/Volksblad/Mlungisi Louw
  • Former president Jacob Zuma intends to oppose applications by News24 journalist Karyn Maughan and State prosecutor Billy Downer. 
  • Maughan filed an urgent application asking the court to set aside private prosecution brought against her by Zuma. 
  • Downer also approached the court asking that Zuma put up R1 million as security for costs ahead of his prosecution of Downer.

Former president Jacob Zuma has filed a notice of intention to oppose the applications of News24 specialist legal reporter Karyn Maughan and State prosecutor Billy Downer.

The notices of intention to oppose were received on Monday.

Maughan filed an urgent application in the Pietermaritzburg High Court, News24 reported last week.

She argued in court papers that the summons issued against her by Zuma's legal team was "unlawful, vexatious and an abuse of the process of court".

Maughan wants the matter thrown out, Zuma interdicted from pursuing a private prosecution against her in the future, and a costs order.

READ | The political return of Jacob Zuma? Party leaders had to dissuade 'uBaba' at Nkandla meeting

Downer also filed an application last week in the High Court, asking that Zuma put up R1 million as security for costs ahead of his private prosecution of Downer.

The prosecutor argued in his court papers that R1 million was necessary to "provide security that is sufficient to meet the probable costs which may be incurred in respect of my defence in the private prosecution" if the prosecution failed.

Downer said he and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) had engaged the services of senior counsel and two junior counsels for his defence.

Zuma has allegedly deposited R90 000 at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate's Court as security.

Maughan and Downer are expected to appear in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on 10 October.

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