DA seeks to stop Jacob Zuma from using more state funds for legal battles

02 January 2019 - 16:31 By Ernest Mabuza
Former president Jacob Zuma has indicated that he wants to apply for leave to appeal against a high court order that he pay back the money spent on his many legal cases.
Former president Jacob Zuma has indicated that he wants to apply for leave to appeal against a high court order that he pay back the money spent on his many legal cases.
Image: Jackie Clausen

The DA says it will go to court to seek an order that will prevent former president Jacob Zuma from using more taxpayers’ money for his legal battles.

On Wednesday, the party said its lawyers had been informed that Zuma would seek leave to appeal against a North Gauteng High Court judgment ordering him to pay back the money for costs already incurred by his many court challenges.

The high court judgment on December 13 2018 declared that the state was not liable for the legal costs incurred by Zuma in his personal capacity in criminal prosecutions instituted against him, in any civil litigation related or incidental thereto and for any other associated legal costs.

It ordered the state attorney to “take all necessary steps, including the institution of civil proceedings” to recover all the taxpayers’ money already spent on Zuma’s legal costs.

“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 the party’s federal chair, James Selfe.

He said the DA was of the view that the high court judgment needed to remain in effect, irrespective of any appeals Zuma might launch.

“This application for leave to appeal is clearly designed to delay and undermine the court’s judgment and to once again have the state pay for Zuma’s legal fees.

“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," Selfe said.

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

He said Zuma had been implicated in corruption and the looting of the state, and had essentially ransacked the public coffers to defend his role in the state capture project.

"South Africans are still suffering from the consequences of Zuma’s disastrous tenure in office and he is not entitled to any further financial support from the government or the people of South Africa."


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