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By Citizen Reporter

Journalist


Even if convicted, Zuma will still qualify for his presidential benefits

Zuma would have lost his benefits had he been impeached, De Vos said.


Constitutional law expert Pierre De Vos says former president Jacob Zuma will still be entitled to a salary and fringe benefits that all retired presidents qualify for even if he ends up being convicted for his alleged crimes.

“The simple answer is that nothing will happen to the benefits, whether the former president is charged with all the alleged criminal offences or even when he is convicted,” De Vos told the SABC.

He added that should Zuma be convicted, he would still retain the benefits because he was the president of the country.

“The only time you lose the benefits is if you are impeached by parliament, but now he is no longer the president, so he cannot be impeached,” De Vos said.

On February 14, Zuma heeded the call that had been made by the ANC’s top decision-making structure, the NEC, by publicly announcing his resignation as the state leader.

Had he not responded positively to the call, his party would have supported an opposition motion of no confidence that would have taken place the following day to ensure he was ousted.

“The thing is that if you are an accused person and you get unlimited funds from the state to pay your lawyers, your lawyers can bring as many applications as they want until such time that they are going to be punished with a personal cost order, they can do a lot to delay the actual prosecution from happening, perhaps even indefinitely,” De Vos said.

President Cyril Ramaphosa told parliament during his question and answer session earlier this year that according to information from the department of justice and correctional services, R15.3 million has been spent by the state on the personal legal costs of former president Jacob Zuma since 2006.

Meanwhile, Durban residents have been alerted to possible road closures as Zuma’s supporters have vowed to shut down the city as the former president is expected to appear before the court on Friday, April 6. A night vigil is also planned for Thursday, 5 April.

The state vs Zuma matter will be heard at the KwaZulu-Natal division of the high court.

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Cyril Ramaphosa Jacob Zuma Pierre de Vos