Presidency confirms Zuma legal fees now stand at R17 million
A letter sent by President Cyril Ramaphosa to the Speaker of Parliament, Baleka Mbete,reveals that the total cost to the people of South Africa for former President Jacob Zuma’s legal fees now stands at R16,788,781.14. It was previously confirmed to stand at R15,3 million.
The letter received today therefore reveals an increase of R1,4 million. The additional amount was discovered after investigations by the Department of Justice, enumerated in an affidavit by the Director-General in the Presidency, Dr Cassius Lubisi.
The DA has launched an application to review and set aside the agreements between the Presidency and Jacob Zuma to cover the legal costs incurred by him for his criminal prosecution. The case will be heard in the High Court in Pretoria on 6 and 7 November 2018.
Over the last decade, Zuma has exploited our justice system with numerous court proceedings that had the intention of avoiding or delaying criminal prosecutions against him. He has also misused the courts to maintain his grip on power.
The taxpayer has so far footed the bulk of the legal bill for this. The DA will not stand by and let this unjust situation continue. South Africans have already paid too dearly for Zuma’s term in office and should not be required to foot the costs of his legal proceedings.
Zuma should not be entitled to any further financial support from the government or the people of South Africa and the DA looks forward to arguing our case in court.
Text of letter from President Cyril Ramaphosa to Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, 28 August 2018
28 August 2018
FURTHER INFORMATION ON PERSONAL LEGAL COSTS OF FORMER PRESIDENT
In a response to a question for oral reply in the National Assembly on 14 March 2018, I provided information to the House on the amount spent by the Presidency on the personal legal fees of former President Jacob Zuma.
The response read in part:
"According to information from the Department of Justice and Correctional Services, government has contributed R15.3 million to the personal legal costs of former President Jacob Zuma since 2006.
"Of this amount, approximately R7.5 million was spent in the period between 2006 and the withdrawal of the charges against the former President in 2009.
"An amount of R7.8 million has been spent since 2009."
Subsequent to the provision of this reply, and in the course of sourcing documents in respect of a court application, we have received additional information, which has required a revision of the total amount spent by the State on the legal fees of the former President.
The outcome of this further research is outlined in an affidavit submitted to the Gauteng Division of the High Court by the Director-General in the Presidency, Dr Cassius Lubisi.
In the affidavit, the Director-General indicates that, according to updated information provided to the Presidency by the Department of Justice, the total cost to the State of the former President's legal fees is R16,788,781.14.
I kindly request that you bring this information to the attention of the Members of the National Assembly.
Mr Cyril Ramaphosa
President of the Republic of South Africa
Statement issued by James Selfe MP, DA Federal Council Chairperson, 7 September 2018