The decision to use taxpayers’ money to fund millions spent on former president Jacob Zuma’s legal defence over fraud and corruption charges is to be challenged in court.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Thursday received answers from the State Attorney to questions its lawyers posed about the deal struck with Zuma, under which the Presidency has paid R15.3 million so far on his legal fees.
The party says the money spent relates to the civil action the DA launched nearly a decade ago to have the decision to drop the charges against Zuma set aside – and not the criminal case against him, which has yet to begin.
DA Federal Council Chairperson James Selfe says the party’s lawyers are preparing court papers.
“We will be approaching a court in the very near future, probably tomorrow, to review and set aside that agreement and require former president Zuma to pay back the R15.3 milllion.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier on Thursday said the decision to pay Zuma’s legal costs was in terms of the State Attorney Act and Treasury regulations.
But the DA says the State Attorney’s reply to its lawyers’ questions makes it clear the agreement with Zuma related to the criminal charges against him and not the civil case brought by the party.
The State Attorney’s office says Ramaphosa is bound to honour the deal struck when Zuma asked former president Thabo Mbeki for help paying his legal bills, until such time it is reviewed and set aside by a court.