President Cyril Ramaphosa rejects the private prosecution, says Zuma is abusing legal processes. Ramaphosa has led the ANC since he took over from Zuma in 2017.

South Africa’s former President Jacob Zuma has charged current President Cyril Ramaphosa in a private prosecution, a move Ramaphosa rejects as an “abuse of legal processes”.

This comes as the ruling African National Congress (ANC) begins its national elective conference on Friday to decide whether Ramaphosa will stand for president in South Africa’s next election in 2024.

Zuma initiated the proceedings on Thursday, accusing Ramaphosa of being an alleged “accessory” in the leaking of a confidential medical document about him to the media.

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.

“The serious crimes for which Mr Ramaphosa has been charged with in a court of law carry the sentence of 15 years in prison,” it added.