Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Pretoria - The North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria is expected to decide on Thursday whether or not former president Jacob Zuma should pay back the R15.3 million the State has already spent on his legal fees to defend allegations of impropriety levelled against him over the years.

The fees were incurred as far back as 2006, during Zuma's criminal prosecution in the spy tapes matter.

The application to have Zuma pay back the money was brought by the Democratic Alliance (DA), which was later joined by the Economic Freedom Fighters. Both parties also want the agreement between President Cyril Ramaphosa and his predecessor Zuma to cover his legal costs declared unlawful.

Arguing that the criminal prosecution was against Zuma in his personal capacity, the DA said the state should not be paying for his legal fees.

The party further said that criminal charges did not meet the requirements to obtain legal assistance from the state in his court battles.

However, the Presidency has said in honour of a previous agreement the state will carry on covering Zuma's legal fees until the court decides otherwise.

African News Agency/ANA