News Brief

South Africans Will No Longer Be Paying For Jacob Zuma's Legal Fees

Former South African president, Jacob Zuma, will have to foot the bill for his own legal fees. And, he'll have to pay back the legal fees the state incurred.

The High Court in Pretoria has just ruled that former President Jacob Zuma will have to bear his own legal costs as they will no longer be the responsibility of the state.


Since Jacob Zuma's resignation from the South African Presidency, he has been cooped up in court on over 18 charges of corruption including racketeering, fraud and money laundering, all of which span the last decade and marred his tenure as president. The state, making use of taxpayers' money, assumed responsibility for the legal fees incurred by Zuma following a 2006 agreement that he signed whilst under then President Thabo Mbeki.

Before President Cyril Ramaphosa, who takes morning walks with his citizens and champions the late Bra Hugh Masekela's inspiring 'thuma mina' message, there was Jacob Zuma. His tenure as president was a whirlwind of state coffers being used to build his R250 million homestead in Nkandla and dirty dealings being made with the infamous Gupta family—helping South Africans become more au fait with the term "state capture."

There were global corporates, the likes of McKinsey, KPMG and Bell Pottinger engaging in either corruption or deliberately stirring racial tensions within the country to aid the Guptas and Zuma in pocketing even more from the state. At one point, the charges against Zuma were dropped in 2009 after the discovery of the infamous spy tapes which were said to have "tainted" the investigation of Zuma by the specialized crime unit the Scorpions. However, the charges were reinstated by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) earlier this year.

The country's major opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), teamed up with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and filed a court application in March this year for Zuma to be responsible for his own legal fees despite the 2006 agreement he signed based on the State Attorney Act. Following the court's decision today, the DA took to social media to express their delight over the victory.

The court's decision will see Zuma having to pay back between R16 and 32 million worth of legal fees.

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