17/05/2018 06:43 SAST | Updated 17/05/2018 06:43 SAST

Zuma Misses Deadline To File Review Of Decision To Charge Him

Jacob Zuma has missed the deadline, possibly because of confusion over whether the state will continue to pay his legal fees.

Rogan Ward / Reuters
Former president Jacob Zuma (R) speaks with his lawyer Michael Hulley ahead of a press conference after appearing at the Durban High Court, South Africa, April 7, 2009.

Former president Jacob Zuma missed a deadline to file a review of the decision to pursue charges of corruption against him on Wednesday, TimesLive reported. Zuma's legal team reportedly wanted to challenge the decision taken by National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Shaun Abrahams to pursue the charges against him, but had not filed papers by the close of business on Tuesday.

According to TimesLive, this might have something to do with confusion over who is paying his legal bills. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has reportedly decided to go to court to try and stop the state from paying his legal fees.

EFF leader Julius Malema reportedly said the party wanted to know "how Mr Zuma (who has been unemployed since 14 February 2018) would be able to afford another course of litigation‚ in which he would risk not only being defeated but also directed to pay the NDPP's costs (which I am advised is the likely outcome)".

Zuma's legal fees have reportedly been covered by the state under a 2006 agreement, that Zuma would repay the money if found guilty. Some R32-million has reportedly been spent on Zuma's legal defence so far. The DA has reportedly launched a review of this agreement.

In March, his lawyer, Michael Hulley told eNCA that Zuma's legal team was considering taking the decision to pursue the charges against him on review.

Zuma appeared in court on the charges in April after years of trying to stave off prosecution related to his role in the 1999 arms deal. It is alleged that Zuma received bribes from arms manufacturer Thales.

The case was postponed until June 8, according to TimesLive, after an agreement was reached by both parties. At the time, Advocate Billy Downer, for the state, reportedly told the court that there were several outstanding issues that had to be resolved before the trial could proceed, including Zuma's application to review the decision to charge him. The postponement until June 8 was reportedly so that Zuma could finalise his review application.

The state wants the trial to go ahead in November, but Zuma's legal team is reportedly not in agreement over this date.