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Court expected to hear DA application over Zuma legal fees

The DA wants the court to declare that the state is not liable for the costs incurred by former President Jacob Zuma in his personal capacity in criminal prosecutions against him.

Former president Jacob Zuma in the Randburg Magistrates Court to support his son Duduzane on 26 October 2018. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

PRETORIA – The Democratic Alliance (DA) application to have former President Jacob Zuma personally pick up the bill for his various criminal and civil cases is set down to be heard on Tuesday.

The opposition party’s application will be heard in the High Court in Pretoria.

Former President Thabo Mbeki and the office of the state attorney committed to paying Zuma’s legal fees as far back as 2005.

The DA wants the court to declare that the state is not liable for the costs incurred by Zuma in his personal capacity in criminal prosecutions against him.

It wants the court to go further and declare that the state is also not liable for the civil litigation that flowed from such proceedings such as the drawn-out spy tape saga.

The party’s James Selfe says in an affidavit Zuma adopted a Stalingrad legal strategy which was an effort to fend off the prosecution by taking on every conceivable technical and preliminary point.

In the spy tapes matter alone, the state spent at least R15 million on Zuma’s legal fees.

Zuma argues that the High Court incorrectly found that he was ill-advised and reckless when he challenged the Public Protector’s remedial action.

He further claims that the court incorrectly found against him in his personal capacity, when he was, in fact, cited in his professional capacity as the president.

Zuma also believes that he approached the court as a branch of government to resolve an issue over the separation of powers.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)