#StateCaptureReport: Zuma’s lawyers tell court state should pay his legal bill

Oposition parties have said taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay the President’s legal costs when he’s abused the court.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG – President Jacob Zuma’s lawyers say the state must pay for his legal costs in the failed interdict against the release of the State of Capture report—because the report looked into his conduct in his official capacity.

The president’s lawyers filed papers in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Friday.

Zuma made a dramatic U-turn in his bid to prevent the release of the report by withdrawing his urgent application on the second day of the hearing earlier this month.

The Democratic Alliance, Economic Freedom Fighters, United Democratic Movement and Congress of the people urged the court to order him to pay for the legal costs out of his own pocket.

The opposition parties say taxpayers should not have to pay President Zuma’s legal costs when he has abused the court, lied under oath, and is litigating to protect his own personal interests.

But in court papers the President’s lawyers argue that he should not pay costs in his personal capacity because there is no evidence to suggest he violated the Executive Member’s Ethics Act.

Zuma’s counsel, Anthea Platt, further argues that the Public Protector’s report looked into the president’s conduct in his official capacity and that State was obliged to perform work on behalf of the President.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)