In a surprise move, President Cyril Ramaphosa has reversed his decision to discontinue to pay legal fees for the former President Jacob Zuma.
This is a sequel to a recent announcement by President Ramaphosa that the presidency will no longer pay for Zuma’s legal costs.
The pronouncement came in the wake of Democratic Alliance (DA) bid in March this year, when it filed papers in the North Gauteng High Court, requesting 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.
On Thursday, DA Federal Council Chairperson James Selfe said his party has written to President Ramaphosa to request he reconsiders his decision to continue to pay for the former president, Jacob Zuma’s, legal fees.
“We have also requested the court to order Zuma to refund R15.3 million already spent on past criminal and civil proceedings,” said Selfe.
Selfe said when President Ramaphosa announced the presidency will no longer cover Zuma’s legal dues, DA welcomed his decision to abide by this upcoming ruling of the Court and the previous commitment that the State would no longer pay Zuma’s legal costs.
“The President Ramaphosa’s decision to reverse his decision may pave the way for Zuma to apply for the review the pronouncement of the National Director of Public Prosecutions to prosecute him.
Therefore, these costs could escalate at the time when 9.5 South Africans are unemployed,” said Selfe.
Selfe said Zuma has abused court processes over the last ten years by launching civil proceedings and opposing applications with the clear intention of avoiding or delaying the criminal prosecution against him.
“The DA is, therefore, considering an application to interdict the State from paying any further costs related to Zuma’s legal fees in this matter as he has already cost the people of South Africa and,” added Selfe.
Selfe said DA is requesting that President Ramaphosa reconsiders his decision to continue to pay for Zuma’s legal costs both in the best interests of all South Africans and so that justice will be allowed to prevail.