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Court’s decision concerning Zuma’s legal costs: Public does not have to pay for cover-up of state capture

The FF Plus welcomes the Pretoria High Court's ruling that former President Jacob Zuma must pay his own legal fees.

"If tax payers had to cover the legal costs, it would have been extremely ironic seeing as it would have meant that they would have had to use their own tax money to help cover up the fact that money was stolen from them through state capture," says Pieter Groenewald, FF Plus leader.

Groenewald says using tax money to protect those who are implicated in state capture comes down to an even greater injustice to tax payers.

"In the future, there needs to be clear rules that stipulate that any public office bearers who are guilty of certain offences or who have legal steps taken against them, must pay their own legal fees. It is unacceptable to use tax money to cover such legal expenses.

"The State should only pay the legal fees incurred by a public office bearer if the court finds that the legal charges were invalid and only if it can be proven that the public office bearer's actions were in line with his or her duties.

"From the answers provided to parliamentary questions posed by the FF Plus with regard to the legal costs incurred by Zuma since he took office as the president of South Africa in 2009, it can be gleaned that his legal fees amount to R24,24 million (R24 240 201). (Questions and answers are attached herewith).

"Apart from his most recent attempt, Zuma has approached the court five times in the past without any apparent success. Only one of these cases have been finalised. In almost every one of these cases, he made use of the services of at least three advocates and in one instance, he used five.

"The fact that Zuma did not win one of the aforementioned cases serves as proof that tax payers' money was squandered to try and keep him out of trouble, Groenewald says

 

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