Legal analyst Mpumelelo Zikalala says former President Jacob Zuma’s private prosecution against President Cyril Ramaphosa is unlikely to succeed.
Zikalala argued that the president does not have the power to interfere with the work of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and other legal practitioners.
The president made an urgent appeal to the High Court in Johannesburg to block Zuma’s private prosecution. Ramaphosa is asking the court to consider his application on January 10 next year and excuse him from appearing in court on the 19th as directed by the former president’s summons.
Zuma launched a private prosecution against Ramaphosa for an alleged breach of the NPA Act over the disclosure of his medical records by prosecutor Billy Downer and journalist Karin Maughan.
But Zikalala believes the move has little chance of success.
“What he’s being accused of is certainly not something he can’t do. You can’t be accused of breaking the law, or you can’t be accused of not wanting to break the law, because the bone of contention in this case, they say, is that you didn’t act against attorney Billy Downer. But that is not the president’s prerogative. It is the prerogative of the Minister, the prerogative of the head of the NPA or the National Director of Public Prosecutions to do that. And the law is very clear when it comes to legal practitioners, even the Legal Practice Council has jurisdiction, so it is not the President’s business to interfere with the prosecutions that are taking place.