Zuma must pay his own legal fees – and pay back taxpayer money already spent

The High Court has ruled that government is not liable for the legal costs incurred by former president Jacob Zuma in his personal capacity during his corruption trials.

The court made the ruling on Thursday, following a bid by the Democratic Alliance to have the state’s decision to keep supporting Zuma put aside.

It will now be up to the state attorney to compile a full list of costs incurred by Zuma during the corruption case, and to take all the necessary steps to recover the money from the former president.

This must be done within three months of the ruling. The DA and EFF were also awarded costs.

According to the DA, the party has fought for over a decade to ensure that the former president has his day in court relating to fraud and corruption charges which were “irrationally” dismissed in 2009 before he became president.

During this action and other actions both preceding and subsequent to the DA’s action, his legal defence fees have been paid by the taxpayers of South Africa.

In respect of the DA’s action, the cost has been R16 million, the party said, but it estimates the real cost is probably closer to R50 million.

“We approached the court in this action because we believe it was unacceptable for South African citizens to foot the bill of a private defence,” the party said.


Read: How the Zuma years killed foreign investment in South Africa

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Zuma must pay his own legal fees – and pay back taxpayer money already spent