Radebe reveals the multi-millions spent defending Zuma

2013-11-21 00:00

CAPE TOWN — More questions are being asked about the R8,8 million that taxpayers have paid for President Jacob Zuma’s legal team.

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe confirmed in answer to a parliamentary question yesterday that about R8,8 million has been paid to, amongst others, Michael Hulley and his legal firm since 2009, when Hulley defended Zuma on allegations of taking a bribe from French arms dealer Thint.

A few weeks ago the presidency said in reply DA MP James Selfe’s query that Hulley had been paid R2,3 million to defend Zuma in the so-called spy tapes case.

Justice yesterday said it would today explain the legal costs, but opposition parties had already described the new amount as an insult to the tax payers.

When DA MP Debbie Schafer specifically asked if Michael Hulley of Hulley and Associates was paid the money, Radebe answered “yes”.

According to this answer, Hulley was paid in close to R7,9 million in legal fees in the 2009-10 financial year.

This amount includes more than R2,6 million that was paid to Hulley in the arms deal bribery case involving Thint and the appeal case that followed, which cost the taxpayer another R4,7 million.

From 2010 to 2013, the legal fees to delay the handing over of the so-called spy tapes to the Democratic Alliance had amounted to R897 958. The tapes were crucial in the decision to drop corruption charges against Zuma.

Schafer said it was time for the president to stop wasting taxpayers’ money and face up to the charges against him.

Cope MP Julie Killian said it was a lot of money to spend on legal fees, “especially on a legal practitioner who works part-time for the presidency”.

Last year, R20 million was budgeted for the president’s legal defence.

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