Former South African President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday launched a private prosecution against News24 journalist Karyn Maughan and advocate Billy Downer, a senior state prosecutor who is leading the arms deal corruption trial.
The Jacob Zuma foundation said the former president is suing Downer for leaking his medical information to the journalist who later published it.
Zuma’s lawyers are also suing Maughan who published the information, urging that it is criminal to disclose the former leader’s confidential medical information without getting written permission from the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP).
Zuma and French arms firm, Thales, face several counts of corruption, money laundering, tax evasion and racketeering in connection with a $2.5 billion weapons deal in the late 1990s. Both deny any wrongdoing.
The former president’s medical records were published after he was released on medical parole last year following his arrest and imprisonment for contempt of court.
He was released on medical parole after two months before a court rescinded the “unlawful” parole in December and ruled that he should be returned to prison.
His lawyers, however, successfully challenged the ruling and President Zuma has been serving his prison term under house arrest.