President Cyril Ramaphosa rejects with the utmost contempt Mr. Jacob Zuma’s abuse of legal processes and perversion of the ‘nolle prosequi’ (private prosecution) provision.
In accordance with the Criminal Procedure Act, a private prosecution can only be instituted after the individual prosecuting has obtained a certificate of non-prosecution. The certificate serves as a legal confirmation that the National Prosecuting Authority (“NPA”) will not proceed with the prosecution following its consideration of the charges.
Mr. Zuma has not provided such a certificate with charges in the name of President Ramaphosa. The summon served to the President is hopelessly sub-standard and demonstrate absolute disregard of the law.
Mr. Zuma charges that President Ramaphosa is an “accessory after the fact” in a criminal offence alleged against Advocate William Downer – the allegation is that Advocate Downer improperly shared information, in terms of the NPA Act. Mr Zuma’s charges are based on an accusation that President Ramaphosa failed to act after Mr. Zuma complained about improper conduct by Advocates Downer and Breitenbach. These charges are completely spurious and unfounded.
President Ramaphosa promptly responded to Mr Zuma’s letter indicating steps he had taken, including referring the matter to the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronal Lamola who bears the oversight responsibility over the NPA. President Ramaphosa requested Minister Lamola to refer complaints of improper conduct against Advocates Downer and Breitenbach to the Legal Practice Council.
President Ramaphosa does not interfere in the work of the NPA, nor does he have the power to do so. The President responded to Mr Zuma and took appropriate and legally permissible action.