'Please lend a helping hand': Jacob Zuma Foundation asks for donations for Zuma's legal fees

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Embattled former president, Jacob Zuma.
Embattled former president, Jacob Zuma.
Tebogo Letsie/City Press
  • Former president Jacob Zuma is currently serving a 15-month jail term for contempt of court.
  • His foundation has made a plea for donations towards his legal fees. 
  • In April, Zuma failed in his bid to challenge a court ruling that cut government funding for his corruption trial legal fees.

After years of litigation, the Jacob Zuma Foundation has sent out a plea on its official Twitter page to ask people to open up their wallets and donate towards the former president's mounting legal bills.

"Dear People of South Africa and the world. Please lend a helping hand," it tweeted on Tuesday morning.

READ | SANDF medical boss: Zuma's life is at 'significant risk', will take 6 months to treat

"A humble call for legal fees support for former president Jacob Zuma. We humbly request for donations support to help cover the legal fees of our patron."  

Asked why South Africans should donate to a former president accused of corruption and state capture, foundation spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi said: "In South Africa, everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Everyone that has that kind of concern is disrespecting the Constitution." 

In April, Zuma failed in his bid to challenge a court ruling that cut government funding for his corruption trial legal fees. He must pay back a legal bill estimated to be about R25 million, News24 previously reported.  

The Supreme Court of Appeal also dismissed his attempt to appeal a ruling by the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria that there was no legal basis for the government to pay for his defence in his corruption trial.

Zuma is serving a 15-month jail sentence after he was found guilty of contempt of court.

READ | Zuma's legal bills headache: State Attorney to issue summons to recover R18.2m in trial costs

The former president was admitted to an unidentified health facility outside the Estcourt Correctional Centre earlier this month, days before his lawyers were due to argue that he should be acquitted of the charges against him.

Zuma is in hospital under the care of the Presidential Medical Unit of the South African National Defence Force. The Department of Correctional Services said it was unable to predict a discharge date.

Department spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said previously that Zuma had undergone a surgical procedure "with other procedures scheduled for the coming days".

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