Zuma's costs orders seen as a 'sign of judiciary's frustration' - CASAC

2017-12-13 18:15
President Jacob Zuma. (GCIS)

President Jacob Zuma. (GCIS)

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Johannesburg – The two scathing judgments delivered in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria against President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday, in which he was ordered to personally pay legal costs, have proved that South Africa has a "strong, robust and independent" judiciary.

This was the view of Lawson Naidoo, executive secretary of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) after a full Bench of the court, led by Judge President Dunstan Mlambo, dismissed Zuma’s challenge to former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s state capture report.

FULL DOCUMENT: Read the full judgment here

Naidoo said it was very important to note that the court ordered Zuma to personally pay the costs.

"I think the important part of both of the judgments today (Wednesday), is that the courts have awarded the personal costs against the president," he said.

"I think it is important to understand why the courts have done that and I think [it is largely] due to the manner in which the president has abused the legal process in these cases to delay matters."

READ: State Capture: Madonsela 'happy' with court ruling on Zuma

Naidoo explained that it demonstrated the costs orders against Zuma could be seen as a sign of the frustration the judiciary experienced by his attempts to delay and drag out legal matters.

The court found that Zuma must institute a commission of inquiry into state capture within 30 days, which would be headed by a judge selected by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, as per the "binding" recommended remedial actions put forward by Madonsela.

Naidoo praised the judgments for being legally sound and for making complex legal issues accessible to the public.

READ: #StateCapture judgment: 13 blows dealt to Zuma, quote by quote

"I think it is evidence that we are very fortunate to have an independent and robust judiciary. And not just that, but it is a judiciary of a very high quality," he said.

Wits legal expert Professor James Grant said he believed the costs orders against Zuma was an important decision.

"The costs order is what has been so absolutely necessary for so long. It is a massively positive development and I am hoping that that will be the break on him to continuing to abuse public funds to delay the inevitable," Grant said.

He said he believed it was "hopeless" for Zuma to consider appealing the judgments.

"From the beginning, I never understood how it could be challenged… To have found in Zuma’s favour would have been madness," he said.

Read more on:    public protector  |  casac  |  jacob zuma  |  state of capture report  |  state capture

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