DA, Good Party welcome SCA ruling against Zuma over legal costs

Jacob Zuma has been fighting to remain on the taxpayer’s bill to pick up his personal legal costs for his corruption trial. But the SCA has agreed with an earlier High Court judgement that there was no legal basis for this.

FILE: Former President Jacob Zuma at the state capture commission on 17 July 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News.

DURBAN - Opposition parties have welcomed the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA)’s ruling against former President Jacob Zuma.

Zuma has been fighting to remain on the taxpayer’s bill to pick up his personal legal costs for his corruption trial.

But the SCA has agreed with an earlier High Court judgement that there was no legal basis for this.

READ: Zuma loses appeal bid to not repay State legal fees for corruption case

From his own pocket, the former president will have to pay back an estimated R25 million which was used to cover his defence costs.

It was the Democratic Alliance (DA) and then the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) who launched the court battle over funding to help former President Jacob Zuma fight his legal battles.

The parties argued that this was unlawful.

The EFF was yet to react to Tuesday’s Supreme Court ruling but DA leader, John Steenhuisen, described it as a victory for the country’s Constitution.

"Mr Zuma continues to undermine the judiciary, the Constitution and the state, so this court victory is not only a victory for the DA and the other applicants but also for all South Africans."

Meanwhile, the Good Party has also welcomed the decision.

Secretary-general Brett Herron: "It served a very important precedent and principle that those accused of wrongdoing in public office do not have unlimited access to public funds in order to avoid accountability."

The SCA has also ruled that Zuma must be hit with a punitive costs order for, without evidence, attacking judges who had previously ruled against him.

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