Siyanda Ndlovu
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
22 Jul 2021
10:50 pm

Zuma slapped with summons to pay back R18m in legal fees

Siyanda Ndlovu

Zuma lost an appeal at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) back in April and was ordered to pay back the money.

Picture for illustration: Jacob Zuma did not appear in court in person, as the application for yet another postponement of his corruption trial was heard via video link on Monday. Picture: Getty Images/Christopher Furlong

The Jacob Zuma Foundation on Thursday confirmed the receipt of summons that the former president pays back R18 million used to fund his personal legal costs.

Zuma lost an appeal at the Suprme Court of Appeal (SCA) back in April and was ordered to pay back the money.

“The Foundation confirms that the Attorney’s of our Patron, H.E Prez Zuma have received the affidavit from the State Attorney regarding legal bills incurred during Prez Zuma’s tenure as President of the RSA,” it said on Thursday.

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The foundation said that Zuma’s legal team would consult with him for further instructions.

In 2006 and 2008, Zuma submitted requests to the State Attorney for legal assistance at the state’s expense.

He is facing charges related to money laundering, corruption and racketeering linked to the controversial arms deal.

The SCA found that Zuma had no right to fund his personal legal battles with taxpayers’ money.

It ruled that granting Zuma a blank cheque to pay private lawyers for his personal legal battles was not only shocking but also made possible by a web of maladministration and shrouded in secrecy.

Zuma’s appeal at the SCA was opposed by the DA and EFF, but, according to the SCA judgment, it was only in March 2018 that the political parties became aware of the asserted legal basis for the funding.

This was only after President Cyril Ramaphosa replied to a parliamentary question.

“Until then the matter had been shrouded in secrecy. It was only after the review application had been launched that the full extent of the funding emerged. The SCA took a view that to have granted Zuma, who had been significantly enriched by a blank check to pay private lawyers is egregious,” the judgment stated.