The legal costs for former President Jacob Zuma’s court cases, since he became president of South Africa in 2009, amount in total to R24,24 million (R24 240 201).
The information was gleaned from a written answer provided by the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Mr Michael Masutha, in response to a parliamentary question posed by Dr Pieter Groenewald, leader of the FF Plus.
Zuma approached the court regarding five separate matters without success. Only one of these cases has been finalised. In almost every case, he had at least three advocates and in one of the cases, he even had five.
The fact that Zuma was not successful in a single one of these cases serves as proof that tax payers’ money was squandered in an attempt to keep him out of trouble.
In the case where the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) obtained a search warrant to search, amongst others, the offices of Thint and sent a written request to the Mauritius authorities to secure documents, which Zuma opposed, the legal costs amounted to R15,3 million.
This matter was taken to the Constitutional Court, where Zuma lost the case. This is the only case that has been finalised.
In the case where Zuma questioned the legal powers of the Public Protector (PP) concerning her report on Nkandla, the legal costs amounted to R3,2 million (R3 196 492) and Zuma had five advocates. This matter was also taken to the Constitutional Court.
Another example of how tax money was squandered to cover Zuma’s legal expenses is the case in which he proceeded against the PP in an attempt at preventing the state capture report from being issued. Zuma had three advocates in this case and the costs amounted to R2,5 million (R2 530 135).
Three advocates were also used in Zuma’s appeal against the DA’s request to disclose the reasons for the dismissal of the former Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, and his deputy, Nhlanhla Nene. The costs amounted to R1,2 million (R1 247 617). This case has now been scheduled for 2 May 2018 in the Appeals Court.
The FF Plus posed the question regarding Zuma’s legal costs in November last year already. Minister Masutha did not respond at the time and the question had to be repeated to get an answer.
This serves as proof that the minster tried to protect Zuma while he was still president as the minister was only willing to disclose the information once he was no longer serving as president.
The abovementioned makes it clear that Zuma squandered tax money by having up to five advocates, which unnecessarily drives up legal costs, for court cases that he keeps losing. The FF Plus is of the opinion that Zuma must be held personally liable for the legal costs.
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