Jacob Zuma appeals ruling that he must pay millions in legal fees from own pocket

Former president Jacob Zuma is appealing against an order declaring that he must pay his own legal costs.
Image: THULI DLAMINI

Former president Jacob Zuma was on Friday scheduled to appeal a court ruling that declared he must pay legal costs running into millions of rand from his own pocket.

SABC news reported that Zuma, in papers filed before the Supreme Court of Appeal, contended that fraud and corruption charges against him were motivated by political vengeance and spite.

Zuma is appealing a personal costs order given against him by the North Gauteng High Court, in December 2018, related to his failed bid to review then public protector Thuli Madonsela’s “state of Capture” report. The report ultimately led to the establishment of the commission of inquiry into state capture led by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo.

TimesLIVE reported in 2018 that Zuma would no longer receive state funding for his corruption trial defence. The court, at the time, ordered the state attorney to “take all necessary steps, including the institution of civil proceedings” to recover taxpayers’ money spent on these costs.

Deputy judge president Aubrey Ledwaba ruled that Zuma, “like all other accused persons in SA is thus entitled to be represented by a legal practitioner using his own resources, or those offered by the Legal Aid Board”.

Zuma is facing charges related to his relationship with his former financial adviser Schabir Shaik, who was convicted of keeping Zuma — then deputy president of the ANC and later deputy president of SA — on a corrupt retainer. In exchange, Zuma allegedly used his influence to further Shaik’s interests.

BusinessLIVE reported on Friday that Zuma had been ordered by Zondo to appear before the state capture inquiry in September to answer questions about his alleged role in looting and corruption during his presidency. The personal costs order against him was estimated to be R10m.

TimesLIVE

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