NEWS & ANALYSIS

Zuma's legal fees almost R300 000 per day – Mmusi Maimane

DA leader says former president's legal team is twice size of previous one and public will pay for his bills

ANC’s legacy of corruption continues as public will pay for Jacob Zuma’s new legal bill

23 July 2018

Reports yesterday have revealed that not even one month after sacking his previous lawyer, Michael Hulley, former President Jacob Zuma’s new legal team is twice the size of his previous one, and costs almost R300 000 per day in legal fees. This cost is expected to be in the millions by the time Zuma’s corruption trial resumes in November.

Due to a long standing agreement that the state will pay for Jacob Zuma’s legal fees, the ANC government will be picking the pockets of South Africans in order to fund Zuma’s legal defence team. This shows that the ANC is not committed to rooting out corruption. Instead, they want South Africans to pay to keep Jacob Zuma out of prison. The longer the ANC stays in power, the more our country will suffer from the rot of corruption.

The DA once again implores President Cyril Ramaphosa to cancel this agreement.

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 public should not pay one further cent towards Zuma’s legal fees. We believe that the agreement that the ANC government reached with Zuma to cover his costs is illegal. It has no basis in law, and should be scrapped immediately.

Zuma’s use of public money to fund his defence has allowed him to pursue the “delay at any cost” strategy that has helped him avoid a trial for nearly a decade. Now that even the “delay at all costs” strategy is reaching its end, he is hiring more lawyers, firing old ones, and trying to find any reason to delay further — all the time while South Africans keep funding it.

The ANC cannot talk seriously about tackling corruption yet continue to allow public money to be used to stymie corruption charges against Jacob Zuma. This year alone, the ANC government has increased value added tax (VAT), sin tax, sugar tax and the price of fuel – all of which hit the poor the worst. It is a slap in the face of the poor and jobless to further expect them to continue to pay for the legal fees of the former President.

The ANC government must cancel the legacy of corruption agreement at once.

Issued by Mmusi MaimaneLeader of the Democratic Alliance, 23 July 2018