Jacob Zuma Seeks to Get Prosecutor Billy Downer Removed From Graft Trial

By Des Erasmus

Court proceedings at the kick-off of Jacob Zuma’s corruption trial were swift and clinical on Monday, with a postponement to May 26. Ace Magashule, Carl Niehaus, Bongani Bongo, Tony Yengeni and former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo were among his VIP supporters who crunched into the courtroom ‘A’ gallery.

The Pietermaritzburg high court heard on Monday that former president Jacob Zuma would be making an application for veteran prosecutor Billy Downer to be removed from his graft trial, almost 20 years in the making.

The start of proceedings was delayed for over an hour as legal teams met in the chambers of Judge Piet Koen to deliberate on an appropriate date for postponement, with 26 May being said to be to the satisfaction of all involved.

When proceedings finally started, Downer confirmed with the court that Thabani Masuku SC, Zuma’s advocate, had notified him last week of the application.

“Mr Masuku informed me last week that they intended bringing an application for me as lead prosecutor to be recused. We…

Source: Daily Maverick

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