Zuma to fight court bid to cut his legal funding

16 April 2018 - 17:51 By Karyn Maughan
Former president Jacob Zuma.
Former president Jacob Zuma.

Former President Jacob Zuma will oppose a court bid to cut his legal funding - in a case that could have major implications for his ability to fight the corruption charges against him.

But President Cyril Ramaphosa has yet to indicate whether he will fight the applications bought by the Democratic Alliance to challenge a 2006 "deal" for the state to fund Zuma's legal costs‚ or will simply abide by the North Gauteng High Court's decision.

The Democratic Alliance has also asked the court to force Zuma to pay back the estimated R32.4-million already spent on his legal campaign to avoid prosecution.

If that order is granted‚ it could be financially devastating for the former president‚ who has already been ordered to personally pay the costs of his disastrous state capture cases.

Hours after Zuma appeared in the Durban High Court on corruption charges‚ Ramaphosa's lawyers officially withdrew his office’s appeal against the state capture judgment – and made it clear that Zuma will have to fight the estimated R10-million personal costs order made against him on his own.

“Take further notice that with regards to the appeal on the issue of the punitive costs‚ the current President is not liable in that the punitive costs were against the former President in his personal capacity and as such we do not purport to act on the former President’s behalf in this notice.”

The North Gauteng High Court ordered Zuma to personally foot the bill in his aborted bid to block the release of then public protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report‚ and his failed bid to review it.

Three judges slammed his legal challenges as “ill-advised and reckless”.

Zuma has yet to outline his opposition to the DA's challenge to his legal funding.

His lawyer‚ Michael Hulley‚ has already indicated that Zuma intends to file a challenge to National Prosecution Authority head Shaun Abrahams' decision to put him on trial by mid-May.

And that challenge‚ which may take years to finalise‚ will require significant funding.