Johannesburg, Dec 13 (IANS) A South African High Court on Thursday ruled that former President Jacob Zuma must pay his own legal fees during his corruption trial.
In November, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said the state would continue to cover Zuma’s legal costs until the court decided otherwise.
“It is declared that the State is not liable for legal costs incurred by Zuma,” the judge of the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria was cited as saying by Efe news.
The court also ordered Zuma, 76, who ruled the country between 2009-2018, to pay back all the legal expenses the state spent on Zuma’s behalf, which, according to opposition parties, amounted to 32 million South African Rands ($2.3 million).
The presidency had agreed to cover Zuma’s legal costs incurred during his criminal prosecution.
Meanwhile, leader of the Democratic Alliance Mmusi Maimane tweeted: “Today we managed to save the citizens of our country millions.”
“We have stopped our people from being the ATM that funds the corrupt’s litigation. The court has set aside a deal between Ramaphosa and Zuma for legal fees,” Maimane said.
Zuma, the fourth President of South Africa, stepped down on February 14, caving to African National Congress party’s pressure.