Former president Jacob Zuma’s legal bill is reported to be at R24 million. This emerged from a Parliamentary question posed by the Freedom Front Plus’s Pieter Groenewald to Minister of Justice Michael Masutha.
An earlier question by the Democratic Alliance to the Presidency revealed that R15 million of taxpayer’s money had been spent defending Zuma from the longstanding spy tapes legal debacle. The case links Zuma to the arms deal corruption. Zuma is due to appear in court on June 08 regarding these allegations.
Masutha’s response, given this month, shows that R2.5 million was spent interdicting then Public Protector Thuli Madonsela from releasing the State Capture report in 2016. This amount also includes Zuma’s 2006 defence against rape accusation. Zuma’s five advocate defence utilised another R 3 million to argue in the Constitutional Court why the former president was not liable to pay back any money towards his homestead, Nkandla’s security upgrades as recommended by Madonsela.
R1.24 million was spent in defending against the Democratic Alliance’s review application for substantiation of Zuma’s last cabinet reshuffle where Pravin Gordhan was removed as Minister of Finance. The figure is likely to escalate as the matter is due to be heard by the Supreme Court of Appeal next month. Another outstanding matter is the Mxolisi NXasana golden handshake and the validity of Shaun Abrahams’ appointment as NPA head. The Constitutional Court is yet to make judgment on the issue
Ramaphosa’s office has said that there was an agreement between the Thabo Mbeki presidency and Zuma in 2006 that his legal fees will be covered by the State. The decision was subject to the undertaking by Zuma to refund the legal costs incurred in the event that his defence was unsuccessful. Zuma’s only outright legal success was in his 2006 rape trail where he was acquitted, making him possibly liable to pay back R20 millions of taxpayer’s money.
The table below indicates the costs and number of attorneys involved in the various matters.