Zuma to seek clarity after SCA dismisses leave to appeal bid

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  • Former president Jacob Zuma's foundation says Zuma's legal team will approach the president of the Supreme Court of Appeal to provide clarity on its decision to dismiss his bid for leave to appeal. 
  • The SCA on Thursday dismissed the former president's efforts to force the removal of prosecutor Billy Downer. 
  • The foundation said it was "astounded by the glaring vagueness and the ambiguity inherent in this decision".

The Jacob Zuma Foundation says "justice was most definitely not serviced" following the former president's latest legal defeat after the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) dismissed Zuma's application for leave to appeal.

The foundation, in a media statement, addressed its concerns to "all media and the people of South Africa and the world" on Saturday. It was "astounded by the glaring vagueness and the ambiguity inherent in this decision".

"A blanket approach and routine order of dismissal do not provide the required clarity. In this case, it is because it's common cause that some of the four separate petitions filed at the SCA do not require "leave to appeal".

"Even Judge Piet Koen's made this clear in his judgment," it said.

The foundation added that court judgments provided legal certainty and clarity so that subjective inferences were avoided.

READ MORE | SCA dismisses Jacob Zuma’s four corruption prosecution petitions, clearing the way for trial 

It said:

All that H E President Zuma wants is a fair trial and will leave no stone unturned to ensure that the constitutional promises of the rule of law and equality before the law are evenly applied to all. On the 11th April 2022, the legal team of President Zuma will be in the Pietermaritzburg High Court with a clear mandate to ensure the protection of these inalienable rights and values enshrined in our Constitution.

The foundation said Zuma had briefed his legal team to do all that was necessary to approach the president of the SCA.

"In line with the relevant legislation to seek appropriate remedies including the reconsideration, variation or clarification of the decision," it said. 

The SCA on Thursday dismissed the former president's efforts to force the removal of prosecutor Billy Downer.

READ | Zuma’s next move: No legal way to halt corruption trial but that doesn't mean he will let it finally go ahead

Zuma had asked the appeal court for the right to challenge Koen's dismissal of his "special plea" application in which he sought the removal of Downer because of alleged bias and misconduct.

The State elected to not file any papers detailing its opposition to Zuma's attempts to appeal Koen's rulings against him.

The foundation added for the criminal trial to proceed under the present conditions whilst these legal protections were being pursued would be a "travesty of justice and a vindictive assault on our Constitution".

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