- Former president Jacob Zuma has long employed what has been called a ‘Stalingrad litigation strategy’ to delay legal proceedings
- In April Zuma appeared in court briefly before having the matter postponed until 8 June 2018
- While difficult to quantify how much Zuma has cost the taxpayer in legal fees current estimates point to a total of R32.4 million
Former president Jacob Zuma has long employed what has been called a ‘Stalingrad litigation strategy’ to delay legal proceedings against him. Zuma and his legal team have been using this tactic for well over 10 years.
In April, Zuma appeared in the Durban High Court on 16 charges of fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering. His lawyers successfully had the matter postponed until 8 June.
Zuma’s legal team argued that Zuma had a pending legal cost case which was brought against him by the Democratic Alliance (DA). The party wants the court to review legal costs paid by the state on behalf of Zuma from as early as 2004.
Briefly.co.za gathered that while it is difficult to quantify exactly how much Zuma’s legal fees have cost the South African taxpayer over the year’s currents estimates point to a total of around R32.4 million.
The costs just to challenge the DA’s attempt to have the court overturn the NPA’s decision not to prosecute Zuma in 2009 has cost the former president a staggering R15.3 million, which was in effect spent for no reason as Zuma still stands accused on the original charges.
On Monday, the DA filed additional papers in its legal costs case against Zuma, these additional papers were needed after Zuma’s legal team submitted incorrect, incomplete and inadmissible documents to the court.
These documents are important for the DA in order to build a solid case against the former president and are not subject to the public record. The DA has argued that by wilfully submitting incomplete documents Zuma’s legal team is trying to delay the legal costs case and by extension the criminal case.
This is in effect a tactic which Zuma has used on multiple occasions in courtrooms across the country on multiple occasions.
“Mr Zuma clearly remains intent on employing his Stalingrad litigation strategy. Mr Zuma has indicated his intention to institute an application to review the decision of the National Director of Public Prosecutions to reinstate the charges against Mr Zuma and to stay the prosecution,” the DA’s James Selfe says in an affidavit.
Selfe said it seemed as if Zuma was intent on spending as much public money as he possibly could and ironically a case which was meant to save taxpayer money could end up costing the taxpayer millions.
Zuma will be forced to pay back the legal costs to the state if he is ever found guilty of committing a crime in his personal capacity or if the DA wins its legal bid, although legal experts agree a long appeals process would likely follow such a ruling.
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