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'Zuma wants to stop me from being re-elected,' says Ramaphosa

President tells Jacob Zuma he's abusing legal processes

ANC president, Cyril Ramaphosa delivers the political party’s political report on December 16 2022 at Nasrec in Johannesburg during the 55th ANC national conference.
ANC president, Cyril Ramaphosa delivers the political party’s political report on December 16 2022 at Nasrec in Johannesburg during the 55th ANC national conference.
Image: Alaister Russell

President Cyril Ramaphosa has accused his predecessor of initiating a private prosecution against him in a desperate bid to block him from being elected for a second term as ANC president at the party's 55th national conference taking place in Nasrec.

Ramaphosa made the allegation in a letter drafted by state attorney Herbert Mncube, sent to Zuma’s lawyers in response to a summons served on the eve of the conference.

Ramaphosa's opponents are expected to argue at the national conference that he should be disqualified from running because he faces a private prosecution.

Zuma has instituted a private prosecution against Ramaphosa over his alleged failure to adequately deal with allegations of improper conduct against Billy Downer.

The summons was issued after Ramaphosa’s political opponents failed to topple him in parliament over the Phala Phala report before the conference.

Many have said Ramaphosa’s opponents had realised they could not successfully dislodge him at the conference and had sought to find other means to defeat him.

The state prosecutor has, among other defences, questioned the timing of the summons, served a day before the conference. He argued Zuma was abusing the legal processes as the state prosecutor had established that the prosecution was influenced by ulterior motives aimed at blocking Ramaphosa from contesting at the conference and not for seeking criminal justice.

“The purported summons were served on the president a day before the 55th national conference were due to commence,” the state prosecutor wrote. 

“It is common knowledge that the president will stand for re-election as presidential candidate. It appears that the purported summons were served to halt his candidature. This is an abuse of process.”

LISTEN | Ramaphosa heckled as ANC conference gets underway

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