The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) have vowed to approach the courts in coming days to compel former President Jacob Zuma to pay back state money used for his legal fees relating to his corruption case.
This in the back of what they described as unsatisfactory response from President Cyril Ramaphosa to a question by EFF leader Julius Malema on the legal provision relied on to fund Zuma’s legal fees.
The DA wanted to know if the agreement would continue now that Zuma was no longer President.
In his response Thursday, President Ramaphosa indicated the State Attorney granted Zuma’s request for state funded legal representations, subject to the condition that he make an undertaking to refund monies spent should it be found that he acted in his personal capacity in the commission of the alleged offences.
The agreement was reached with former President Thabo Mbeki in 2006.
EFF spokesperson, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says the president’s response is flawed.
“It is impossible to think that the State attorney could grant and reach such a decision without the involvement of the executive who determined that it was in the public interest to defend the corrupt activities of a government official. To justify such expenditure of taxpayer’s money on the grounds that it took place when Zuma was an MEC for example and later a deputy president is also absurd. What it means is that the state would have been prepared to pay for Zuma’s rape trial and therefore it is incredibly insulting to South Africa’s collective intelligence.”
DA Federal Chair is James Self says the explanation is absurd.
“What is aggravating is that the R15.3 million that has been spent so far has nothing to do with his criminal charges. They have everything to do with a civil case that the DA has brought to reinstate the criminal charges against him and that is not covered by the agreement at all. So that reason the DA will be filing papers to review and set aside this agreement as being unlawful and requiring Zuma to pay back the R15.3 million.”