2018 has been a difficult year for the former president Jacob Zuma, from resigning up to the recent court battle ending with him being held accountable for his legal bills. Briefly.co.za takes a look into what the year had in store for Msholozi.
The year started off on a rough note for Zuma, with the African National Congress presenting him with an ultimatum- either leave or we will remove you.
Addressing the country in a late-night speech, Zuma ended his long reign as the ANC leader by stepping down. This move ensured that he would, at the very least, retain the privileges he had enjoyed as president. This includes a nearly R3 million annual salary as well as other benefits such as medical aid and a protection allowance.
More bad news for Zuma followed shortly there after his son Duduzane Zuma crashed into a taxi after losing control of his Porsche. Facing culpable homicide charges, Duduzane had enjoyed his father's support with Jacob attending hearings on the matter.
April saw a surprising birthday gift for the ex-president- a baby. The youngest member of Jacob Zuma's ever growing family was brought into the world by 24-year-old Nonkanyiso Chonco.
However, soon after this Former president Jacob Zuma and his family were in mourning after their son Nhlakanipho Vusi Zuma passed away suddenly. The family released a statement on the cause of death: complications of systemic lupus erythematosus‚ better known as lupus.
Soon after this, more drama ensued with Nedbank’s chief economist Dennis Dykes announcing that the former president Jacob Zuma’s final term in office has cost the South African GDP R1 trillion in potential losses.
His sentiment was echoed by other economists who blame the current economic woes on state capture maladministration and policy uncertainty. Economists across the board believe the current technical recession and the poor state of the economy during the first two quarters of 2018 can be directly linked to Zuma’s final term in office.
In November Jacob Zuma, saw his application to review the cost order against him fail. The North Gauteng High Court ruled that Zuma's bid to review former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's remedial action for the institution of the State Capture Inquiry was ill-advised.
News24 reported that Zuma specifically appealed that he should be held personally responsible for the legal costs. He lost and now must pay the costs, plus the costs of the appeal. The cost order is estimated at around R10 million.
The State Capture inquiry saw former Minister of Public Enterprises, Barbara Hogan, fingering Zuma as one of the leading causes of the capture of state entities. She accused him of interfering with appointments of high ranking officials at Transnet among other things.
Another death blow had been a ruling that Zuma would have to continue paying liquidated VBS Mutual Bank an R8.5 million loan, which he could not afford to pay. He used the funds to pay for some of the “security upgrades” to his Nkandla property after the Constitutional Court ruled that he had to pay back the public funds that he spent on unnecessary upgrades to the property.
Despite all the bad vibes Jacob Zuma has still retained huge support from his followers who had flocked to support him last month when he had appeared on corruption charges at a Pietermaritzburg court.
Ngoako Ramatlhodi's testimony before the State Capture Inquiry saw Zuma being accused of close ties to the Gupta family, including sharing meals and a top notch legal team designed to keep the former president out of trouble.
Later in November, the South Africa Human Rights Commission was forced to go to the Durban Equality Court for an arrest warrant for Edward Zuma, one of the former president's sons.
Edward failed to pay a fine for hate speech that he was found guilty of. TimesLIVE reported that Edward is accused of being disrespectful by disregarding the court order and not paying the remaining amount of R12 500.
Most recently The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruled that Jacob Zuma will have to pay his own legal fees.
Judge Aubrey Ledwaba declared that the former president cannot expect the state to pay for his legal expenses. It is declared that the state is not liable for legal cost incurred by Zuma.
In addition, Zuma must also pay back all the money the state paid to cover his costs to date. The State Attorney must make a list of all costs incurred during Zuma's corruption case and then take the necessary steps to recover the money from him.
Despite a tremulous year Jacob Zuma has being loyal to the ANC, campaigning all the while in anticipation. In a surprising move he signed up to social media platform Twitter, much to the amusement of Mzansi.
Only time will tell what 2019 holds for him, but one thing is certain, retirement has not been a walk in the park.
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