Zuma responsible for legal fees

It was the EFF's argument that the State attorney paid more than R25-million of taxpayers' money to a private attorney firm, Hulley and Associates, for legal costs Zuma incurred. (Marco Longari/Gallo)

It was the EFF's argument that the State attorney paid more than R25-million of taxpayers' money to a private attorney firm, Hulley and Associates, for legal costs Zuma incurred. (Marco Longari/Gallo)

Jacob Zuma will have to pay for his own defence costs.

This comes after the high court in Pretoria ruled on Thursday that the former president is responsible for his own legal fees.

“It is declared that the state is not liable for legal cost incurred by Zuma” said Judge Aubrey Ledwaba in handing down judgment.

The Democratic Alliance filed papers late in March, asking the court to set aside a 2006 agreement relating to legal costs Zuma incurred for his criminal prosecution, which the Presidency signed.

This was after President Cyril Ramaphosa revealed that the agreement, signed by Zuma under former president Thabo Mbeki, formed the basis of the decision to continue paying Zuma’s legal fees in the so-called spy tapes case.

Both the DA and Economic Freedom Fighters lodged applications in the High Court, asking it to set aside the decisions the state attorney made in Zuma’s bid to have his legal costs funded by the state.

During the hearing in November, advocate Thabani Masuku, who represented Zuma, said: “There is no evidence of corruption involved between the state attorney, Mr [Michael] Hulley, and Mr Zuma,” regarding the former president’s fees.

Masuku argued that the applicants had failed to address why it took more than 10 years to review the decision, adding that the DA knew about the funding as far back as September 2008 during a parliamentary question session.

The EFF also argued that it sought an order directing the former president and Hulley to pay the money back to the State attorney in Zuma’s legal battle.

It was the EFF’s argument that the State attorney paid more than R25-million of taxpayers’ money to a private attorney firm, Hulley and Associates, for legal costs Zuma incurred. — News 24

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