Former president Jacob Zuma speaks at Nelson Mandela memorial lecture at King Cetshwayo hall at University of Zululand in Mpangeni. Picture ;Bongani Mbatha African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - Former president Jacob Zuma has broken his silence on the recent North Gauteng High Court ruling ordering him to pay the State back all the money used defending his corruption and fraud cases.  

Earlier this month, deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba, handing down judgment in less than 10 minutes, found that the decisions of former president Thabo Mbeki and later the incumbent President Cyril Ramaphosa to pay for Zuma’s legal fees were unlawful and illegal.

Judge Ledwaba said Zuma must pay back all the legal fees the State spent on him since his criminal trial began in 2005 and all civil litigations he undertook to ensure that all the charges against him were dropped.

The fees have been estimated at R15.3 million.

Zuma was also ordered to pay back the legal fees the State incurred during a nine-year battle with the DA to force the NPA the reinstate criminal charges against him. 

The former president finally spoke out on the matter, posting a two-part video on Twitter on Sunday afternoon. 

Zuma said while it was important to respect the decisions taken by the courts, he questioned why there was no consistency when it came to the funding of the court battles of state officials. 

"What I would like to make clear is that all of us as citizens of this democratic country must all respect the judgments by the courts at whatever level because these judgments are judgments which we believe are taken by people who have given thorough thought, balanced the facts.

My opinion on recent events - 2 pic.twitter.com/EBuETZIN4t

— Jacob G Zuma (@PresJGZuma) December 23, 2018

"All of us must listen properly to the case and look at the evidence and compare the evidence perhaps to the judgment. But also to look at the judgment itself, whether we are consistent in our country in terms of applying the law. I'm saying this because many of the leaders who were in charge of apartheid systems, some of whom killed my comrades, they were charged and they are quite a number of them. The State paid for their cases, not just small amounts, very huge amounts."

Zuma went on to say: "But the very same State is saying me, one among those who fought for this very democratic State, I must pay for myself. So apartheid killers, they must be defended by the State - fighters of the democratic country must pay for themselves."

While Zuma reiterated the need to respect judgments, he also called for consistency with regards to previous judgments taken on similar cases. 

IOL