CAPE TOWN - Former president Jacob Zuma's latest bid to appeal the high court ruling that he reimburses the legal fees paid on his behalf by the State was spurious, the Democratic Alliance said on Wednesday.
"The DA is of the view that there are no new grounds for the former president’s latest application for leave to appeal, as he already tried and failed in a previous bid to have the high court judgment overturned," said James Selfe, the chairman of the DA's federal executive.
Zuma is petitioning the Supreme Court of Appeal to allow him to challenge the 2018 Pretoria High Court order that he repay about R16 million in legal fees spent on fighting the corruption charges against him.
The high court previously ruled that the former president had no reasonable prospect of having the ruling overturned. In his court papers, Zuma reportedly alleges that the order to cut off state funding for his myriad legal challenges was a violation of his right and accuses the high court judges of being unfair to him.
Selfe said the charges Zuma faced had nothing to do with any political office he has occupied, and therefore the DA firmly believed that he must pay his own legal costs.
"The truth is that Zuma amassed millions of rands in legal fees for the alleged crimes he committed in his personal capacity which had nothing to do with his role as MEC, deputy president or president. He is therefore personally liable for the costs incurred, and he must pay for it himself.
"He made his bed, and now he must lie in it....This latest application for leave to appeal is not only an attempt to have the State pay Zuma’s legal fees, but it seems intentionally designed to undermine the high court’s judgment."
He added that he trusted the SCA would deal with the petition "swiftly and decisively".
African News Agency (ANA)