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Zuma pays up as arms deal case sent on its way

The government will pay the legal costs of Terry Crawford-Browne’s now-settled bid to have the Constitutional Court compel President Jacob Zuma to probe the arms deal.

Crawford-Browne’s application to compel an inquiry into the controversial arms deal was formally withdrawn in the Constitutional Court on Thursday.

“The applicant is granted leave to withdraw,” Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said of the bid by retired banker Terry Crawford-Browne, to force President Zuma and the government to appoint an independent inquiry into the multibillion rand deal.

The order followed Zuma’s announcement in September that he had decided to appoint a commission of inquiry into the deal, which has been dogged by allegations of corruption and bribery.

The order stipulated that the president and the government pay the costs of two counsel for Crawford-Browne for their services until Thursday.

They also had to pay costs encountered because of a postponement of the matter on May 5, and the costs of all interlocutory applications filed on record.

The president and the government were furthermore to pay the party-to-party costs of the friend of the court — the South African Institute of Race Relations.

This was to include costs of two counsel, costs wasted when the matter was postponed and the costs in all interlocutory applications filed on record in the matter in which the friend of the court was involved.

When Zuma announced in September that a commission of inquiry would be set up, Crawford-Browne said he was unhappy with its terms of reference and would push ahead with his Constitutional Court action.

He said there were problems in how the terms referred to inquiries around offset payments to civilians.

His attorney later informed the court that he and the respondents had settled the matter. — Sapa

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