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Former President Jacob Zuma.File Pic GC

The Presidency’s decision to cover Zuma’s legal expenses invalid, contends DA

https://lephalaleexpress.co.za/2018/03/24/presidencys-decision-cover-zumas-legal-expenses-invalid-contends-da/

Democratic Alliance (DA) has filed papers in the North Gauteng High Court testing the understanding by the Presidency to take care of the legal expenses incurred by former President Jacob Zuma for his criminal prosecution.

The DA argued in court papers on Friday the decision by the Presidency to take care of the legal expense brought about by Zuma for his criminal allegations be reviewed, pronounced invalid and put aside.

The opposition party further ordered that the R15.3 million already spent by Zuma on the suit be refunded.

“We base this on the fact that the State Attorney Act refers to taking care of legal expenses due to actions committed while an employee of the State and an obligation. Not one charge against Zuma relates to his actions committed when he was MEC, Deputy President or President,” said DA Federal Council Chairperson James Selfe.

Therefore, said Selfe it is our view that Zuma must payback the R15.3 million effectively spent in litigation that has extended over the better part of 10 years in which he did his most extreme to maintain a strategic distance from his day in court, at the public expense.

“He should not be given a single cent more for a criminal trial is yet to start. These costs must be covered by Zuma,” said Selfe.

He said the DA anticipates confirmation of the trial date where Zuma will confront the 783 counts of fraud, corruption, racketeering and money laundering against him.

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“Zuma has already cost our country. All money spent for his deferring strategies must be recuperated and South Africans ought not to need to pay a single cent towards defending him in the criminal case,” added Selfe.

“The Presidency is in this way bound by that decision and must keep paying for Zuma’s legal charges since it embraced to do as such until the point when the decision is reviewed and set aside by a court, “the Presidency said in a statement in light of DA’s contention.

Amid his tenure, the former President made a request for the State to take care of the expenses of his legal fees.

According to information sought by President from the State Attorney, the decision to give legal portrayal to former President Zuma at State cost was taken under section 3(1) of the State Attorney Act 56 of 1957 in 2006.

“It was based on advice from the then Chief State Law Advisor, Director-General in the Department of Justice, the Minister of Justice and the State Attorney, who all prescribed the arrangement of legal portrayal at State cost under section 3 of the State Attorney Act,” added the Presidency.

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