NEWS & ANALYSIS

Ramaphosa should stop paying Zuma legal fees – James Selfe

DA FCC says state has already spent at least R15.3m on former president's legal costs

DA urges Ramaphosa to stop paying Zuma legal fees

21 June 2018

The DA has today written to President Cyril Ramaphosa to request that he reconsider his decision to continue to pay for former president, Jacob Zuma’s, legal fees.

The State has already spent at least R15.3 million on Mr Zuma’s legal costs. This figure is likely to be significantly higher as it is still unclear whether this amount is confined only to the litigation involving the DA.

In March, the DA filed papers with the North Gauteng High Court asking that the agreement between the Presidency and Jacob Zuma, to cover the legal costs incurred by him for his criminal prosecution be reviewed, declared invalid and set aside.

We have also requested that the court order that the R15.3 million already spent on past criminal and civil proceedings, be refunded.

The DA welcomed the President’s decision to abide by this upcoming decision of the Court as well as the previous commitment that the State would no longer pay Mr Zuma’s legal costs, which has now seemingly been reversed.

President Ramaphosa’s decision may pave the way for Mr Zuma to file an application to review the decision of the National Director of Public Prosecutions to prosecute him. Therefore, these costs could escalate alarmingly at precisely the time when 9.5 South Africans are unemployed.

Mr Zuma has repeatedly abused court processes over the last ten years by launching civil proceedings and opposing applications with the clear intention of avoiding or significantly delaying the criminal prosecution against him.

The reason he did this is that he knew full well that the State, and therefore the people of South Africa, would pay for his legal fees.

Mr Zuma should not be entitled to any further financial support from the government and the people of South Africa.

The DA is, therefore, considering an application to interdict the State from paying any further costs related to Mr Zuma’s legal fees in this matter as he has already cost the people of South Africa dearly and unjustifiably.

However, we do not wish to litigate needlessly and have therefore requested that President Ramaphosa reconsiders his decision to continue to pay for Mr Zuma’s legal costs both in the best interests of all South Africans and so that justice will be allowed to prevail.

Issued by James SelfeDA Federal Council Chairperson, 21 June 2018