'Presidency has so far used R15.3m to pay Zuma’s legal bill'
Cyril Ramaphosa says the agreement was struck between former presidents Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki and that it still stands.
CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa has confirmed the government has an agreement with former president Jacob Zuma to pay his legal costs in the case related to the National Prosecuting Authority’s decision to drop charges against him.
Ramaphosa says the agreement was struck between former presidents Zuma and Thabo Mbeki and that it still stands.
In terms of the agreement, the Presidency has so far used R15.3 million in public money to pay Zuma’s legal bill.
Ramaphosa was answering a question from Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema in the National Assembly on Wednesday afternoon.
Ramaphosa has told Parliament that when the agreement was signed in 2006, Zuma undertook to repay his legal costs if he was found to have acted in his personal capacity or his own interests.
But he couldn’t tell Malema under which law the deal was struck, sparking a clash.
“He has told you that he has to check on that,” Speaker Baleka Mbete intervened.
Malema said: “But this was a written question to him long before he came here and he should have checked before he came here.”
Ramaphosa apologised and committed to providing Malema with the required information within a week.
He says the agreement with Zuma remains in place for now but the Democratic Alliance is preparing to challenge this in court and wants an order compelling Zuma to repay the money.
Ramaphosa says the property clause in the Constitution was never meant to be a static provision but was rather intended to land reform in the country.
He’s again reiterated there will be no illegal land grabs.
In answer to a question from the DA’s Mmusi Maimane on how the government plans to carry out land expropriation without compensation, Ramaphosa says the answers will only be found in dialogue.
“One size does not fit all when it comes to land. We need to look at a variety of methods and that is why the call for dialogue for discussions becomes relevant.”
(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)