South Africa
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South Africa: Stalingrad Defence - Zuma's Costly and Legally Untenable Attempts to Avoid Facing Criminal Charges

Jacob Zuma's failure to have lead prosecutor Billy Downer recused -- and then secure wholesale acquittal on charges of corruption, fraud, and racketeering -- made me wonder how many cases related to his criminal prosecution he had lost and won, and who may be paying his legal fees, which must be in the tens of millions of rands.

Dismissing yet another application by former president Jacob Zuma to stall or end his prosecution, the Pietermaritzburg High Court invoked the legal principle of "issue estoppel", and suggested this could "provide a remedy to prevent the abuse resulting from the same issue being litigated in different forms before different courts".

The courts rely on issue estoppel to bring an end to litigation and to avoid the same issues being litigated with the potential of different judgments being given. The court invoked this principle in response to the 14-year history of litigation relating to Zuma's criminal prosecution.

Over the past 14 years, Zuma has gone to extraordinary lengths to prevent investigators from accessing information likely to incriminate him in criminal activity. When that failed and he was charged, Zuma again went to extraordinary lengths to stop the prosecution, recycling many of the same...