What you said: Jacob Zuma's 'allies' must help cover his legal fees
80% of readers said the former president should reach out to those who “allegedly benefited during his presidency”.
Former president Jacob Zuma must ask those who allegedly benefited during his presidency to help cover his legal costs, says the majority of TimesLIVE readers.
The Jacob Zuma Foundation this week asked for public donations to help cover the “millions” needed to pay the former president's legal fees.
“Dear People of SA and the world. Please lend a helping hand. We humbly request donations support to help cover the legal fees of our patron,” the foundation said, providing banking details for donations.
Zuma's spokesperson, Mzwanele Manyi, would not give the exact figure in response to questions sent by TimesLIVE, saying only that the shortfall in the former president's legal fees amounted to “millions”.
The embattled former president is facing several legal battles including corruption charges linked to the arms deal. Zuma is also accusing prosecutor Billy Downer of bias and is seeking to have him removed from prosecuting his case.
The foundation on Wednesday thanked supporters who had started making donations.
“The requested support has started pouring in. The foundation is grateful to those who have already made sacrifices to help one of our own, H.E Prez Zuma. Thank you. The road ahead is still long but together we shall conquer,” it said in a statement shared on its official Twitter account.
TimesLIVE ran a poll this week asking readers if they would donate to Zuma's cause.
An overwhelming majority (81%) said Zuma should “ask those who allegedly benefited during his presidency”.
12% said Zuma should look elsewhere for funding, while 7% said they would do their bit and chip in.
On social media, many asked if the request was “a joke”, saying they would not donate.
“Let him sell Nkandla, then he will be able to afford his legal fees. Or [Adv Dali] Mpofu should do pro bono [work] for him,” wrote Yoliswa Rajuili.
Joshy Anrich Sampson-Pienaar was shocked by the request when so many were sitting at home without jobs or money to feed their families.
“Imagine! People are sitting at home with degrees because there's no jobs. Now they have to depend on a R350 [grant] that doesn't even cover their basic necessities.”