NEWS

DA Wants Court To Force Disclosure Of Zuma's Legal Costs

"The DA have… asked the court to direct the President to confirm…the total amount spent on all legal costs," said DA MP James Selfe.

12/11/2017 14:04 SAST | Updated 12/11/2017 14:53 SAST
Sumaya Hisham / Reuters
President Jacob Zuma gestures as he addresses parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, November 2, 2017. Picture taken November 2, 2017.

The Democratic Alliance on Sunday announced that it had served President Jacob Zuma with papers in order to ascertain the costs of his legal defence in the so called "Spy Tapes" case.

"The DA have... asked the court to direct the President to confirm...the total amount spent on all legal costs in respect of the decision by the National Prosecuting Authority to drop 783 counts of fraud, corruption and racketeering against him," said DA MP James Selfe in a statement.

Selfe filed the founding affidavit in the Western Cape High Court in Cape Town on November 9.

During a question and answer session in Parliament on November 2, Zuma responded to a question on the matter submitted by DA leader Mmusi Maimane, by stating that he was entitled to legal costs "at state expense according to the provisions of the State Attorney Act 56 of 1957.

"This benefit is extended to all who are employed in the service of the state. Thank you very much."

A further exchange ensued between DA members and the president, as well as Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli.

The DA was unsatisfied with the final outcome, said Selfe.

"The president's 'answer' provided no rand figure or estimate of expenses at all," he said.

By avoiding the question, the DA believes that both the president, and the Deputy Speaker, Lechesa Tsenoli, presiding at the time, who allowed President Zuma to avoid the question, acted unlawfully and unconstitutionally.James Selfe (in the founding affidavit)

The affidavit seeks two orders: One that the conduct of Zuma and Tsenoli be declared "unlawful and unconstitutional"; and secondly, that the president provide the amount spent in legal fees during his battle against corruption charges.

The DA wants the figure to be submitted, in writing, within five days, to the National Assembly.

-- News24