Zuma instructs lawyers to challenge R10m State Capture costs order against him

18 April 2018 - 10:53 By Karyn Maughan
Jacob Zuma. File photo.
Jacob Zuma. File photo.

Former President Jacob Zuma wants to intervene in the State Capture legal saga in his personal capacity - so he can fight an order that he must personally pay the case's estimated R10-million legal costs bill.

A private attorneys firm indicated that they have been instructed to act on Zuma's behalf in the State Capture appeal‚ which President Cyril Ramaphosa formally withdrew from‚ just hours after Zuma appeared in court on unrelated corruption charges.

“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‚" Ramaphosa's lawyers stated.

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‚ and his failed bid to review it. Three judges slammed his legal challenges as “ill-advised and reckless”.

Zuma’s newly appointed lawyers say he "intends to bring relevant application/s to join or intervene in the matter as he is directly affected"‚ and has asked that he be given until May 15 to file such an application.

It's understood that lawyers involved in the State Capture cases will meet with Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba to determine how Zuma's latest legal challenge will proceed.

Earlier this week‚ Zuma signalled he will also 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. The Democratic Alliance is challenging a 2006 "deal" for the state to fund Zuma's legal costs‚ and has also asked the courts to force Zuma to pay back the estimated R32.4-million already spent on his legal campaign to avoid prosecution.

Zuma appeared briefly in the Durban High Court on corruption charges on April 6. The case was adjourned until June 8 to allow for a review application. His lawyer‚ Michael Hulley‚ indicated that by mid-May‚ Zuma intends to file a challenge to National Prosecution Authority head Shaun Abrahams' decision to put him on trial.