The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) says the judgment of the High Court in Pretoria that former President Jacob Zuma will have to pay his own legal fees in personal criminal matters is a victory for protecting and saving taxpayers money.
EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says it brings an end to civil servants misuse of taxpayer’s money when fighting legal battles.
“That tendency has been cut for good. Therefore we hope going forward all public representatives will be much more careful with usage of public resources in defence of any litigation and that we shall do so, mindful of the fact that at all times it must be in the public interest.” says Ndlozi.
In its reaction to the judgement, the Freedom Front Plus said it will introduce a private members’ bill to Parliament that will strictly govern the use of public funds for litigation involving the state.
FF Plus leader, Pieter Groenewald, says this will prevent millions of rands in tax payers money from being misused.
“We are of the opinion that strict legislation should be introduced where people in public office should first pay for legal costs themselves and only when found not guilty they can take and use tax payers money for that specific court case,” Groenewald says.
The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution has joined other organisations and political parties in emphasising the importance of the judgment that Zuma pay his own legal fees in personal criminal matters.
CASAC Executive Secretary, Lawson Naidoo says Zuma will now have his day in court.
“This is important judgment that exposes manner in which JZ went around trying to avoid having his day in court for over a decade…in course of its judgment court recounted all of the cases referred to luxury Mr Zuma took to enjoy at taxpayers expense.”