Former president Jacob Zuma has arrived in Pietermaritzburg High court, facing charges of fraud, corruption and racketeering. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)
Former president Jacob Zuma has arrived in Pietermaritzburg High court, facing charges of fraud, corruption and racketeering. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

Zuma’s legal bill for failed state capture report challenge still to be determined

By Loyiso Sidimba Time of article published May 28, 2021

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Johannesburg - Former president Jacob Zuma’s bill owed to Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane for her office’s legal costs in the battle over her predecessor Thuli Madonsela’s state of capture report must still be determined.

The Constitutional Court struck off the roll with costs Zuma’s challenge of the North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, ruling ordering him to personally pay the costs of his unsuccessful challenge to Madonsela’s report in December 2017.

In October last year, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) dismissed Zuma’s bid to overturn the high court order.

Mkhwebane’s spokesperson Oupa Segalwe told Independent Media that the public protector was not in a position to state how much the office was owed by Zuma.

The ex-president’s bill needs to be taxed by the tax master, according to Segalwe.

In its annual reports for the past two years, Mkhwebane’s office declared that Zuma owed about R164 000 for litigation relating to Madonsela’s report.

Another R165 500 is still outstanding for Zuma’s other unsuccessful bid to interdict the release of the state of capture report in 2016.

Zuma’s four-day finance minister and uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association treasurergeneral Des van Rooyen owes over R20 000 for his part in the failure to stop Madonsela from releasing the report.

Acting Deputy Chief Justice Sisi Khampepe yesterday said: “This court grants the following order: The matter is struck off the roll with costs, such costs to include the costs of two counsels where employed”.

Zuma is liable for the costs incurred at the high court, SCA and the apex court.

The ex-ANC head was not represented despite being the applicant in the bid to seek to challenge the SCA judgment, prompting lawyers representing the EFF, DA and the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) to ask the apex court to strike the matter off the roll.

Johannesburg-based Kgoroeadira Mudau Inc, which Zuma appointed only in December, informed the apex court in April that it was withdrawing from representing the former president.

The law firm indicated that there was nothing acrimonious about its withdrawal from representing Zuma but would not say whether it was related to money due to attorney-client privilege.

Kameel Premhid, representing the EFF, said Zuma’s case was fatally defective.

“We collectively take the attitude that this application as it stands before the court today is fatally defective and that it should be struck off the roll with costs,” he said.

Premhid continued: “We are in a strange situation where the applicant (Zuma’s) leave to appeal has not complied with this court’s directives, no record of appeal has been filed, and in consequence thereof, no heads could have been submitted either by the applicant himself or certainly not by the respondents (EFF, DA and Casac)”.

DA advocate Michael Bishop told the court that his clients aligned themselves with Premhid’s submissions as there was no record and written arguments filed.

Bishop also asked the application to be struck off the roll with costs.

Ofentse Motlhasedi, representing Casac, said they had not been placed in a position to make oral or written submissions.

“The manner in which application has been brought before the court is defective and should be struck off the roll with costs of two counsels,” she argued.

Moray Hathorn, who appeared for former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor, said he intended to abide by the court’s decision.

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