Former president Jacob Zuma employed a regular strategy when challenged: defend everything in the courts and exhaust his appeal options. He may now regret it, with the North Gauteng High Court on Thursday ordering the state to recover an estimated R16-million in legal fees.
A full Bench of the North Gauteng High Court sitting in Pretoria on Thursday said the Presidency and state attorney must attempt to recover legal costs incurred by former president Jacob Zuma in his personal capacity.
Reading the unanimous judgment, Deputy Judge President Audrey Ledwaba overturned a 2006 agreement Zuma signed with former president Thabo Mbeki that said the government would pay Zuma's legal costs in his corruption, fraud and money laundering cases, currently before the Pietermaritzburg High Court.
"It is declared the state is not liable for the legal costs incurred by Mr Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma in his personal capacity in criminal prosecutions instituted against him, in any civil litigation related or incidental thereto, or any other associated legal costs," said Ledwaba.
"The decisions taken by the Presidency and the state attorney that the state would cover the legal...