PRETORIA – Former President Jacob Zuma has argued that if the Democratic Alliance (DA) had concerns about the state paying his legal fees, they should have raised the issue many years ago.
This was among Zuma’s counter-arguments to the DA and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)’s application to have him personally pick up the tab for about 12 years’ worth of litigation.
The state attorney’s office has picked up the tab since 2005 and continued to pay through the drawn-out spy tapes legal challenge.
The former president is currently on trial in the High Court in Durban, where he faces fraud and corruption changes alongside French arms firm Thales.
Zuma’s counsel told the court that the DA knew as far back as 2008 that the state attorney’s office was paying his legal fees.
If they had an issue with the arrangement, the party should have approached the courts within 180 days of obtaining that information.
The DA told the court that Zuma was never entitled to have his legal bills paid by the state because the criminal case against did not relate to conduct linked to his office.
The EFF says at least R32 million has been spent defending Zuma in court.
The party also wants Zuma’s former attorney Michael Hulley to pay back the fees he received from the state.