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South Africa's Zuma launches bid to prosecute Ramaphosa

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By AFP

South Africa’s former president Jacob Zuma has announced that he is suing President Cyril Ramaphosa over a leaked medical report linked to a 1990s arms corruption trial.

The announcement, made overnight, comes as the ruling African National Congress kicks off a conference Friday that is expected to re-elect as its party leader Ramaphosa, who is facing a huge cash scandal himself.

Zuma announced that he had launched private prosecution proceedings on Thursday against Ramaphosa, accusing him of being an alleged “accessory” in the leaking of a confidential medical document about Zuma to the media.

Ramaphosa “rejects with the utmost contempt… Zuma’s abuse of legal processes and perversion,” the president’s office said.

Corruption charges

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The case is linked to Zuma’s long running but so far unsuccessful campaign to remove prosecutor Billy Downer, who is pursuing the ex-president on corruption charges related to a 1990s arms deal.

Zuma, who alleges that Downer leaked his medical report to a journalist, is now also accusing Ramaphosa of neglecting his duties by not acting after being informed of the leak, said Mzwanele Manyi, a spokesman for his foundation.

“He didn’t move a needle … in terms of addressing the matter,” Manyi said. 

Ramaphosa’s office dismissed Zuma’s accusations as “spurious and unfounded”.

Zuma’s lawsuit is unlikely to hamper Ramaphosa’s chances of being re-elected as ANC leader, as analysts say the embattled party needs Ramaphosa.  

“There’s nothing political here,” Manyi insisted to AFP.

Jay Ndungu

Jay is a computer scientist and journalist with a passion for the intersection of technology and society. He has a background in computer science, developing a deep understanding of the technical aspects of the industry, including programming languages and software development methodologies. Currently, He writes for Nairobi Times, covering a wide range of topics including technology, politics, sports, and entertainment. With his unique combination of technical knowledge and journalistic experience, Jay brings a unique perspective to the stories he covers, able to explain complex technical concepts in an easy-to-understand manner. His work is dedicated to bridge the gap between technology and society, and to make people more aware of the potential of technology to make the world a better place.

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