Zuma must pay legal fees
FORMER president Jacob Zuma is alleged to have made millions from state capture, but his wealth might not help him now that he has to foot the bill for his legal costs.
The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria yesterday ruled Zuma had to pay the court costs of his failed legal review of former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s directive instructing that a judicial commission of inquiry be appointed to probe state capture.
The decision was welcomed by opposition parties who said it set a precedent not only for the embattled former president, but for other politicians who used frivolous legal challenges for their own gains.
For Zuma the ruling could see the end of his infamous Stalingrad defence, where he used tax-payer money to slow down and impede the various court battles he has been involved in.
“Now that there is the possibility of individuals paying their own costs, it is going to effect many leaders who saw this as a way of keeping justice at bay,” said political analyst Dr Somadoda Fikeni.
It is believed legal costs relating to yesterday’s decision could cost Zuma R10 million. Even if he had the money to pay from illegally gained activities, Fikeni said it would be difficult to use this to pay his legal fees.
“The problem is that once the spotlight is on you, any transaction will be followed,” he said. “So it is possible those involved in state capture won’t be able to access those funds.”