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DA wants Zuma’s R15.3m legal bill declared unlawful

The state attorney on Tuesday confirmed that R15.3 million was paid by the Presidency for Jacob Zuma’s defence.

FILE: DA leader Mmusi Maimane. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it’s started legal action to have the payment of former president Jacob Zuma’s R15.3 million legal bill declared unlawful and to compel him to repay the money.

The State Attorney on Tuesday confirmed that the amount was paid by the Presidency for Zuma’s defence in the case related to the dropping of fraud, corruption and racketeering charges against him.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane says the case was against Zuma in his personal capacity, for crimes allegedly committed before he became president - and his legal fees should not have been paid for with public funds.

The DA’s lawyers have written to ask President Cyril Ramaphosa for details of the arrangement for taxpayers to foot Jacob Zuma’s R15.3 million legal bill.

They’re questioning if this was lawfully done under the State Attorney Act as Zuma’s private lawyer, Michael Hulley, was the attorney of record in the case.

They also want details about an agreement reportedly struck between Zuma and former president Thabo Mbeki that the state would pay Zuma’s legal costs and that he would only refund them if found guilty of fraud, corruption and racketeering.

Maimane said: “This information will act as a basis for us to approach the High Court [for a declaratory order], asking that the payments of these monies in respect of the payment of Mr Zuma’s personal costs be declared unlawful and in effect we seek an order to compel the Presidency to recover the R15.3 million of irregular and unlawful expenditure.”

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