Zuma must use own money to appeal court ruling that he must pay back his legal costs - DA

2019-01-03 11:36
Former president Jacob Zuma in the dock at the Pietermaritzburg High Court. (PHOTO: Leon Lestrade)

Former president Jacob Zuma in the dock at the Pietermaritzburg High Court. (PHOTO: Leon Lestrade)

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Former president Jacob Zuma will seek leave to appeal the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria's judgment which ordered him to pay back the money already incurred by his many court challenges.

But the DA says it will ask the court that Zuma pay for this appeal himself.

DA Federal Council chairperson James Selfe said in a statement that their lawyers had been informed of Zuma's intentions.

"We will be launching an application in terms of Section 18 of the Superior Courts Act, read with Uniform Rule 49 (11), to have the High Court judgment take immediate effect to prevent any more taxpayer money being squandered on Zuma's frivolous legal appeals," said Selfe.

"The DA is of the view that the High Court judgment must remain in effect, irrespective of any appeals Zuma might launch."

Selfe said Zuma's application for leave to appeal was "clearly designed to delay and undermine the court's judgment and to, once again, have the state pay for Zuma's legal fees".

'Indictment on ANC government, Ramaphosa'

"This should and must not be allowed. While Zuma is free to seek leave to appeal any court judgment, he cannot do so using public funds," he said.

"Zuma must be stopped from evading accountability, especially since he is attempting to use state funds on endless appeals.

"Jacob Zuma has been implicated in corruption and the looting of the state, and has essentially ransacked the public coffers to defend his role in the state capture project," Selfe said.

He added that South Africans were still suffering the consequences of Zuma’s "disastrous" time in office and that he should not be entitled to any further financial support from the government or the people of South Africa.

"It is also an indictment on the ANC government in general, on President Cyril Ramaphosa in particular, that there is no stronger stance against Zuma’s abuse of public money. It is clear that the ANC is expediently using Zuma for campaigning purposes and is, therefore, hamstrung in taking a principled stand on protecting the South African taxpayer from further looting."

In December, Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba ruled that the decision of the Presidency and the state attorney, that the government would cover the legal costs Zuma incurred in his personal capacity, was invalid and he set it aside.

READ: More woes for Jacob Zuma after court orders he is responsible for his legal fees

Full account of all costs

The state attorney was also directed to compile a full and complete account of all the legal costs that Zuma had incurred in his personal capacity during the criminal prosecution instituted against him and all related or ancillary litigation.

This includes all the applications referred to in his matter, which the state paid for. In addition, the state attorney was told to take all necessary steps, including the institution of civil proceedings, to recover the amounts paid.

The state attorney was ordered to file a report within three months, detailing the steps taken, and those that will be taken, to recover the money the state had paid.

The DA launched its application in March, asking the court to set aside a 2006 agreement between Zuma and the Presidency, under then-president Thabo Mbeki.

This was after Ramaphosa revealed that the agreement formed the basis of the decision to continue paying Zuma's legal fees in the so-called spy tapes case.

Both the DA and EFF lodged applications in the High Court, asking it to set aside the decision of the state attorney.

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Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  jacob zuma  |  pretoria  |  politics  |  courts
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