- The presidency hinted it may ask former president, Jacob Zuma, to pay back legal fees
- Meanwhile, the presidency also confirmed some documents pertaining to Zuma's legal fees are missing or have been destroyed
- It's unclear if Zuma was ever asked to pay such a refund for multiple failed civil applications linked to the case
The presidency has dropped a little hint that it may want a legal fee refund from former president, Jacob Zuma.
According to reports, the presidency will decide whether Zuma should pay back the fees following the outcome of a court challenge regarding government's funding of his corruption trial defence.
Meanwhile, the presidency also made a shocking revelation that stacks of documentation pertaining to the government's funding of Zuma's legal fees are missing, or have been destroyed.
According to a report by BusinessLIVE, the state confirmed it spent R16.7m for Zuma's legal fees. It's believed this amount will be disputed.
In a report by TimesLIVE, it was stated President Cyril Ramaphosa is not opposing court bids by the EFF and DA. Both parties want to stop the state's continued funding of Zuma’s corruption trial defence.
However, Zuma says it's his constitutional right and he is entitled to th state paying his legal costs.
According to Daniel Mantsha, Zuma’s legal representative, the former president says he's entitled to the state paying his legal fees. This is apparently because Zuma stands accused of abusing his public office to commit corruption.
Briefly.co.za gathered that on Tuesday, Reginald Lubisi, the Director-general in the presidency, said in an affidavit that funding was awarded to Zuma according to the provisions of the State Attorney Act.
Lubisi said if it could proved‚ among other things‚ that the accused official "did not act in the course and scope of his or her employment", the funding would cease.
Furthermore, Lubisi said the presidency tried its best to find missing documents that recorded the fees deal, however, it faced challenges in doing so.
Meanwhile, Zuma’s previous lawyer‚ Michael Hulley‚ failed to reply to two written request in which the presidency asked for help.
When did the payment of Zuma's legal fees begin?
According to Lubisi, government began paying for Zuma’s fees in 2004. At the time, the presidency paid a lawyer to watch over the criminal trial of Schabir Shaik.
A year later, Zuma was charged with corruption. At the time, ex-justice minister Brigitte Mabandla indicated Zuma qualified for state funding of his defence.
Multiple unsuccessful cases, which were brought on by Zuma to challenge search and seizure raids, were then funded by the presidency.
Zuma agreed to pay back the government if he is convicted of corruption. However, it's unclear if he was asked to pay back legal fees for several failed civil applications linked to the case.
Lubisis said: "It is correct that the presidency has not yet requested a refund of any of the funding provided to Mr Zuma. We await the outcome of this litigation before we do so."
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