20/06/2018 07:26 SAST | Updated 20/06/2018 07:26 SAST

State Will Continue Paying Zuma's Legal Fees... For Now

The state will keep funding Zuma's legal defense while a court battle over the issue plays out.

Former South African president Jacob Zuma appears in court in Durban, South Africa, June 8, 2018.
Marco Longari/Pool via REUTERS
Former South African president Jacob Zuma appears in court in Durban, South Africa, June 8, 2018.

The state will continue paying former president Jacob Zuma's legal fees even though there is a court application underway to undo that arrangement, Eyewitness News (EWN) reported.

In terms of a 2006 agreement, the state pays for Zuma's legal fees unless he is found guilty. He is currently facing fraud and corruption charges. The DA and the EFF is challenging the agreement in court.

According to EWN, President Cyril Ramaphosa has filed a notice saying he will abide with the court's decision on the matter. But his spokesperson, Khusela Diko reportedly said,

"We will continue paying for his legal fees up until a point where the matter is concluded or a court decides otherwise."

Without the state's financial backing, it is unclear how Zuma will fund his legal defense. According to Business Day, Zuma intends lodging an application to review the decision to prosecute him but told the court earlier this month that he wants issues around his legal fees resolved first.

His lawyer, Michael Hulley, reportedly had to cancel briefs to counsel over the confusion over who would pay their fees. Hulley appeared for Zuma in court this month, and reportedly said that they had written to the Presidency seeking clarity on the issue but had not yet received a response.

Justice minister Michael Masutha revealed in a reply to a Parliamentary question earlier this year that Zuma's legal bill is R24 million, the SABC reported. This includes money spent defending the spy tapes case and the money spent fighting former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report on state capture.