Zuma legal fees: Presidency agrees to abide by court ruling

2018-05-21 18:13
Former president Jacob Zuma appears in the Durban high court on corruption charges (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

Former president Jacob Zuma appears in the Durban high court on corruption charges (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

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The Presidency has agreed to abide by a future ruling of the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on the state's provision of legal assistance to former president Jacob Zuma.

However, it intends to file an affidavit to explain the history of the matter, to give the court a better understanding.

The Democratic Alliance filed papers at the High Court in late March, asking it to set aside a 2006 agreement the Presidency had signed, over legal costs the former president incurred for his criminal prosecution.

This, after President Cyril Ramaphosa revealed that the agreement, signed by Zuma under then president Thabo Mbeki, formed the basis for the decision to continue paying for Zuma's legal fees in the "spy tapes" matter.

READ: DA wants review of Zuma R15.3m legal fee payments

Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko said on Monday that Ramaphosa's office would abide by whatever ruling the court made in the DA's application.

"The Presidency has today, Monday, 21 May 2018, filed a notice in the Pretoria High Court to abide by the court's decision on the application by the Democratic Alliance on the provision by the state of legal assistance to former president Jacob Zuma.

"The Presidency has indicated that it nevertheless intends to submit an explanatory affidavit to assist the court in understanding the history, legal basis, rationale and processes relating to the provision of this support."

READ: Presidency must continue to pay Zuma's legal fees as agreed

DA federal council chairperson James Selfe said on Monday that the party welcomed the Presidency's statement.

Selfe said that, as far as he was aware, all respondents in the matter indicated they would abide by the court's decision, with the exception of Zuma, who has been cited in his personal capacity.

They were still waiting for Zuma's legal team to file papers on the matter, he added.

A date has not yet been set for court's ruling on the validity of the agreement.

Ramaphosa revealed in various parliamentary replies in March that the state had spent R15.3m on Zuma's legal fees in the "spy tapes" saga since 2006.

It would continue to do so, unless the court declared the agreement invalid.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Shaun Abrahams announced in March that the NPA would go ahead with the prosecution of Zuma on 16 charges, including corruption, money laundering and racketeering.

Zuma also agreed that he would repay the state if he lost the case.

Read more on:    da  |  cyril  |  ramaphosa  |  jacob zuma  |  courts

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