Zuma doesn’t have millions stashed somewhere, says Manyi

Jacob Zuma spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi said the former president's pension money was not enough to cover the bills.

FILE: Former South African President Jacob Zuma removes his eyeglasses as he addresses the media at his home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal on 4 July 2021. Picture: Emmanuel Croset/AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The Jacob Zuma Foundation on Tuesday said the former president was swimming in legal bills, therefore, it had decided to ask for donations to help cover his legal fees.

Zuma, aged 79, is due to stand trial for corruption with French arms dealer Thales in the High Court in Pietermaritzburg.

In April, the Supreme Court of Appeal rejected his appeal of a personal cost order relating to his corruption trial.

He'd approached the court to overturn a ruling by the High Court in Pretoria directing him to pay back the State over R16 million for his legal fees spent during his time in office.

The High Court found that there was no legal basis for the State to pay for Zuma's corruption trial.

He is currently in hospital and it’s not clear when he will return to the Estcourt Correctional Centre to serve out his 15-months sentence for contempt of court.

The former president was sent to jail for defying a Constitutional Court order for filing to cooperate with the state capture inquiry.

READ: Jacob Zuma Foundation appeals for donations to help ex-president pay legal fees

Zuma spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi said the former president's pension money was not enough to cover the bills.

“You know that President Zuma, contrary to popular belief, he doesn’t have millions and billions stashed somewhere. He’s just a pensioner that is living on a government salary, and the kinds of legal bills he’s dealing with, are just to much.”

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