More trouble for Jacob Zuma as court orders him to return legal fees paid by govt while in office
Johannesburg, Dec. 13, 2018 (AltAfrica)-South Africa’s embattled former President Jacob Zuma will have to pay back the money provided for his legal fees while in office
The state has paid between $1m (£90,000) and $2.2m in legal costs for Mr. Zuma over the past decade.
A High Court ruling has instructed the state attorney to recover the money.
In addition, Mr. Zuma will also have to find the money to pay his lawyers in his ongoing corruption case, which has been adjourned until May next year.
The state has been footing the bill for Mr. Zuma’s legal fees since 2006 – when charges of corruption were first laid against him.
The former president faces 16 charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering stemming from hundreds of payments made to him in relation to the South Africa arms procurement deal.
Mr Zuma, who was forced out of office in February, denies any wrongdoing.
The charges were dropped in 2009 but reinstated earlier this year.
Opposition parties took the presidency to court after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent revelation that an agreement signed by Mr. Zuma, under former President Thabo Mbeki, had formed the basis of the decision to continue paying Mr. Zuma’s legal fees, more than a decade on.
On Thursday, a judge found that the decision taken by the presidency and state attorney to cover Mr. Zuma’s legal costs was invalid and set it aside.