After years of legal battle, regarding former president Jacob Zuma legal fee, first brought to contention by the former public protector Advocate professor Thuli Madonsela, the North Gauteng High Court has ordered former president Jacob Zuma to pay his own legal costs.
On Friday afternoon the North Gauteng High Court dismissed Zuma’s application for leave to appeal personal costs relating to the state capture review, effectively making the former president liable for his own legal fees.
According to the Democratic Alliance, this is a victory for not only the DA but also for the South African taxpayer. This sends out a very strong message to government officials and members of the Executive that they cannot use state resources to litigate frivolously.
The Court has found that Zuma had litigated irresponsibly and awarded a personal and punitive cost order against him.
We have a long history of holding the government to account and we will continue to defend the Constitution against those who seek to violate it for personal benefit.
Jacob Zuma's application for leave to appeal the personal costs order against him in the #StateCapture review case has been dismissed with costs in the High Court in Pretoria
— CASAC (@CASACZA) November 9, 2018
These legal costs stem from a review of former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s action to establish the state capture inquiry.
In 2017, the former president ordered his lawyers to challenge the ruling which forced him to endorse the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture. This legal challenge ultimately failed, as seen by the commission’s current operations.
Zuma was instructed to cover his own legal costs relating to the challenge. However, the former president argued the personal costs ruling, by saying that he had not acted in his personal capacity and therefore could not be held responsible for the fees incurred.
During her tenure as Public Protector, Mandonsela vehemently fought state capture, ultimately recommending that a commission of inquiry be implemented. The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, overseen by Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, is a result of Mandonsela’s concerted efforts.
Some citizens see the dismissal of Zuma’s application Friday is a landmark ruling which will surely open the floodgates of further litigation relating to Zuma’s exorbitant legal bills which the taxpayer has had to foot.