There should be no doubt that former President Jacob Zuma’s private prosecution of
journalist Karyn Maughan is an attempt to stop her doing her work as a reporter and to curb the
freedom of the media to report on his many cases.
Zuma served papers today on Maughan and prosecutor Billy Downer for “unauthorised
disclosure of information”, alleging that the two broke the law when facilitating the publication of
court papers, including Zuma’s doctor’s certificate.
Zuma has a pattern of taking legal action against his media critics in an attempt to stifle scrutiny
and criticism and to divert attention from and delay his own prosecution. It should be seen for
what it is: an attempt to make it risky for journalists to scrutinise him, and discourage critical
By all accounts Maughan was doing her job and doing it well. We must defend her rights and
that of journalists to cover court cases fully and properly.
Executive Director, Campaign for Free Expression
083 303 9497