State paid R2.3m for Zuma lawyer

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - CRAIG DODDS

THE gov­ern­ment shelled out R2.3 mil­lion to cover the costs of Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s lawyer, Michael Hul­ley, in fight­ing the DA’s ap­pli­ca­tion for the re­lease of the so- called spy tapes re­lat­ing to the arms deal.

This brings the known cost of de­fend­ing the mat­ter to R3.6m, af­ter it was re­vealed ear­lier that the state had paid R1.3m in the same case.

It was a “stag­ger­ing abuse of power”, DA fed­eral ex­ec­u­tive chair­man James Selfe said yes­ter­day. He had asked Zuma in a par­lia­men­tary ques­tion whether any pri­vate le­gal prac­ti­tion­ers had been used on his be­half in the case and, if so, why the state at­tor­ney had not been used in­stead. In his re­ply yes­ter­day, Zuma con­firmed that Hul­ley and As­so­ci­ates had been paid R2.337m.

“A con­flict of in­ter­est would have arisen if the state at­tor­ney rep­re­sented both the Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Au­thor­ity and the pres­i­dent,” Zuma said. Selfe called this “sophis- try at its best. It’s ex­tremely lu­cra­tive work for Mr Hul­ley,” he said, re­fer­ring to an ear­lier re­ply from Zuma in which he said he had em­ployed Hul­ley part-time – at R693.77 an hour.

Selfe said that R1.3m was the sum paid to the DA af­ter it was awarded costs in a case lost by the state.

craig.dodds@inl.co.za

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