Zuma legal fees: Court to hear DA's application in November
Pretoria - A full bench (three judges) of the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, will on November 6 and 7 hear the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) application to review and set aside the agreement between the Presidency and former president Jacob Zuma for the State to pay his legal fees.
The DA confirmed this date on Monday, which was decided on after a meeting with the office of Pretoria deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba.
The DA filed papers in March this year in which it asked that the agreement be reviewed and declared invalid.
The DA’s James Selfe said that the State has already spent at least R15.3 million on Zuma’s legal costs.
“This figure is likely to be significantly higher as this amount is confined only to the litigation involving the DA,” Selfe said.
The DA will ask that the R15.3 million already spent be refunded to the State. It is of the opinion that Zuma should not receive any more financial support from the public coffers.
Zuma is vigorously opposing the application.
In the latest papers filed in response to the allegations by the DA, Zuma through his new lawyer, Lugisani Mantsha, said the application should be dismissed.
The two days of argument in November will centre around the question of whether Zuma is entitled to legal assistance by the State regarding his fraud and corruption trial which was provisionally postponed to November 30 in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.
Meanwhile in the latest court papers, Mantsha said: “This application is underpinned by a rather mistaken contention that the criminal case against Mr Zuma has nothing to do with his role as a public official. ...One just have to read the charges (against Zuma) to notice that this contention is false and self serving.”
Mantsha said if one looked at the history of the case it is clear that his capacity as a public figure is the centre of the case against him. He said the State is thus liable to pay his legal fees.