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Zuma's legal bill balloons to nearly R17-million

07 September 2018 - 13:41 By Ernest Mabuza
Former President Jacob Zuma. File photo.
Jacob Zuma Former President Jacob Zuma. File photo.

Former president Jacob Zuma’s personal legal fees spent by the Presidency now stand at close to R17-million‚ up from R15.3-million in March.

This was revealed in a letter from President Cyril Ramaphosa to the Speaker of the National Assembly‚ Baleka Mbete‚ on August 28. He was responding to a question for oral reply in the National Assembly on March 14 this year.

Ramaphosa indicated that government had contributed R15.3-million to the personal legal costs of Zuma.

He said that after the provision of the reply in March‚ “we have received additional information”‚ which required the revision of the total amount spent by the State on Zuma’s legal fees.

Ramaphosa said the total cost to the state of Zuma’s legal fees was R16‚788‚781.14‚ according to updated information provided to the Presidency by the Department of Justice.

The Democratic Alliance - which has launched an application to review and set aside the agreements between the Presidency and Zuma to cover the legal costs incurred by the former president for his criminal prosecution - said Zuma should not be entitled to any further financial support from the government.

The DA’s case will be heard in the High Court in Pretoria on November 6 and 7.

“Over the last decade‚ Zuma has exploited our justice system with numerous court proceedings that had the intention of avoiding or delaying criminal prosecutions against him‚” DA federal council chairman James Selfe said. “He has also misused the courts to maintain his grip on power.”

He said the taxpayer has so far footed the bulk of Zuma’s legal bill.

“The DA will not stand by and let this unjust situation continue. South Africans have already paid too dearly for Zuma’s term in office and should not be required to foot the costs of his legal proceedings.”