South Africa

DA welcomes SCA ruling that Zuma must repay State for legal fees

DURBAN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has welcomed Tuesday’s ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal confirming that former President Jacob Zuma should foot the bill for his personal legal costs and pay back money previously used in his defence.

It was the DA and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) who started the legal battle over the funding of Zuma's legal matters with the parties arguing that it was unlawful.

They called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to cut the expenditure.

READ: Zuma loses appeal bid to not repay State legal fees for corruption case

On Tuesday, the SCA dismissed Zuma's attempt to appeal a High Court ruling, which found that there was no legal basis for government to use taxpayers' money to pay for his corruption trial defence.

State sponsorship for former resident Zuma's defence was approved by the Thabo Mbeki administration in 2006.

At the time, the State was advised that Zuma's alleged offences took happened while he was in office and therefore he was entitled to state assistance.

The DA estimates that Zuma's legal battles have so far cost the country more than R16 million.

In a statement, opposition party leader John Steenhuisen claims Zuma's tenure as president was disastrous and Tuesday's ruling by the SCA was a victory for the country's Constitution.

The SCA has also ruled that Zuma must be hit with a punitive costs order for attacking judges who have previously ruled against him.

The former president has in various past statements claimed - without offering evidence - that judges were biased against him.

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