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Ruling on Zuma’s legal fees marks end to abuse of courts - Casac

The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution says a ruling by the High Court in Pretoria ordering former President Jacob Zuma to pay his legal fees is an indication that the days of abusing the courts are coming to an end.

FILE: Former South African President Jacob Zuma appeared in the Durban High Court on 8 June 2018. He is charged with 16 counts that include fraud‚ corruption and racketeering. Picture: Felix Dlangamandla/Pool

JOHANNESBURG - The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) says a ruling by the High Court in Pretoria ordering former President Jacob Zuma to pay his legal fees is an indication that the days of abusing the courts are coming to an end.

On Thursday, a full bench of the High Court ordered the State Attorney to recover all funds spent on Zuma's legal fees over the past 13 years.

The expenses related to both civil and criminal matters and could amount to over R30 million.

Casac's Lawson Naidoo said: “We know that for over a decade, he used the court system to avoid having his dayin court and now the courts have found that he has indeed abused the system and must be personally held personally liable for the costs involved in these cases.”

Naidoo says the ruling also shows that during Zuma's tenure, organs of state, including the State Attorney, were afraid of standing up to him.

“It’s clearly stated in the judgment that the office of the State Attorney does not have the legal basis to use state funds to pay for private lawyers.”

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)