NEWS & ANALYSIS

Ramaphosa's response on Zuma legal fees fatally flawed - EFF

Fighters say it is not possible that decision could have been taken at the level of the State Attorney

EFF STATEMENT ON ZUMA’S LEGAL FEES

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The EFF views the response given by President Ramaphosa to the Parliamentary question posed by the President of the EFF, Julius Malema as fundamentally and fatally flawed, both in law and simple logic. It is untrue that a decision to fund the personal legal battles of Zuma could be taken at the level of the State Attorney without the involvement of any members of the executive. 

A question arises as to how was the request made? Who determined that it was "in the public interest" to defend the corrupt activities of a government official? Has this ever been done before?

To justify this irregular expenditure of taxpayers money on the grounds that the alleged corruption took place while Zuma was an MEC and later Deputy President is absurd. It means the State would have also funded his rape trial if it happened while he was a government official. By the same logic, it means the State also funded Mduduzi Manana's recent Cubana assault trial?

It is equally insulting to our collective intelligence as South Africans to suggest that the obligation to pay back the money will only arise if the loss was personally incurred. In what planet can Zuma have been committing corruption "in the course and scope of his employment" by the same public he always stealing from? How will the money be recovered if he flees to Dubai?

The whole saga smells of illegality and irrationality. As a result the EFF, already last week, instructed its lawyers to prepare a court application to set the secret deal made with Zuma aside as it is unconstitutional. We will ensure that Zuma will #PayBackTheMoney the R15 million legal costs that the State paid for his legal costs. All other payments must be stopped with immediate effect before the resumption of Zuma's criminal trial.

In the meantime we call on Ramaphosa to release copies of the relevant correspondence and agreement to the public whose money was used for Zuma's legal fees slush fund.

Statement issued by the Economic Freedom Fighters, 22 March 2018