Johannesburg Embattled Former South African President Jacob Zuma, is not entitled to state funding when defending his criminal prosecution and must start footing his own legal bills, said North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Thursday.
“The decisions taken by the Presidency and the State Attorney that the State would cover the legal costs that Mr Zuma incurred in his personal capacity in interlocutory and ancillary applications related to his criminal prosecution are reviewed and set aside,’’ said Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba.
Ledwaba ordered that the State Attorney must determine the amount of money spent on Zuma’s legal fees from 2005.
It is estimated that the state has paid over R15 million (around 1 million U.S. dollars) for Zuma’s legal fees since 2005.
Judge Dunstan Mlambo says it is unfair that millions are being diverted from services in an effort to fund Zuma’s criminal charges.
Zuma faces 16 charges including racketeering, corruption, money laundering and fraud emanating from a government arms deal in 1999.
In March this year, opposition parties, including the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters filed court papers seeking the court to review and set aside the state decision to fund Zuma’s legal fees in his personal capacity. (Xinhua/NAN)