Zuma has not paid back millions in legal fees owed to the state

2019-10-15 20:32
Former president Jacob Zuma consults with his lawyer Daniel Mantsha in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

Former president Jacob Zuma consults with his lawyer Daniel Mantsha in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

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No monies have been recouped by the state from former president Jacob Zuma relating to his long-standing legal woes, the Department of Justice told News24 on Tuesday.

The state also confirmed it was not footing the former statesmen's legal bills. 

The confirmation by the department came after DA leader Mmusi Maimane told the media he intended to write to President Cyril Ramaphosa requesting that he confirm in writing that the state would not pay for Zuma's latest "stalling tactic".

Maimane is also requesting an update from the president on the progress made by the state in recouping public money used to fund Zuma's legal fees over the last decade.

"It has been almost a year since the Gauteng High Court [in Pretoria] ordered Zuma to pay back the monies spent on his legal fees, and the people of South Africa deserve to know whether this has happened yet," he said. 

READ: 'We have been ready for 14 years' - Zuma's lawyer as they plan appeal bid

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola's spokesperson, Chrispin Phiri, told News24 the state had not yet recouped the millions it was owed by Zuma because the case was on appeal.

Last year, the high court ruled that Zuma should pay back the legal fees the state had incurred during a nine-year battle with the DA to force the National Prosecuting Authority to reinstate criminal charges against him. The legal fees amounted to more than R15m, IOL reported

Zuma briefly appeared in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday.

The court heard that his legal team intended to apply for leave to appeal last week's dismissal of the application which he and co-accused, French arms dealer Thales, had lodged for a permanent stay of prosecution.

Zuma will have until November 1 to file papers in the leave to appeal bid.

The leave to appeal application will be heard on November 22, and the criminal case was postponed to February 4, 2020.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  corruption
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