State paid R15.3m for Zuma’s legal fees

Former president Jacob Zuma spent R15.3-million in his battle to avoid prosecution – all funded by the taxpayer.

President Cyril Ramaphosa disclosed this information to the DA yesterday‚ in a bid to settle legal action bought by the party over Zuma’s refusal to disclose his legal fees in the so-called Spy Tapes case. The state attorney indicated Ramaphosa intended to disclose this information in parliament today‚ in response to questions from EFF leader Julius Malema.

Malema also wants to know “on what legal provision(s) or policy did the state rely when using state resources to fund the former president’s legal costs?”

Zuma steadfastly avoided answering DA leader Mmusi Maimane’s questions about how much his so-called Stalingrad campaign had cost taxpayers.

And that may be because he has agreed to pay back the money if he is convicted.

Ramaphosa’s spokesman Tyrone Seale last week told the Financial Mail that the state would continue to fund Zuma’s legal fees if he went on trial for corruption‚ on the basis of an undertaking that was concluded between Zuma and then president Thabo Mbeki in 2006.

“The former president signed an undertaking to refund the state if he is found to have acted in his personal capacity and own interest in the commission of offences with which he was charged.”

It remains unclear whether these costs will include the money spent by Zuma in avoiding prosecution. – TimesLIVE

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