Presidency to pay legal costs after dropping state capture appeal

2018-04-18 17:00

The Presidency has officially dropped its bid to appeal former president Jacob Zuma’s personal legal costs order.

The Presidency appeared in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday to formally state President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to withdraw the leave of appeal application.

Zuma had filed the appeal in December last year prior to his resignation as president, but Ramaphosa withdrew the appeal two weeks ago saying that the Presidency would no longer pursue the matter.

Zuma had been ordered by the North Gauteng High Court to personally pay the legal costs for trying to block the release of then Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report, which he wanted to be reviewed.

The Democratic Alliance had argued that taxpayers’ money should not be used to foot the bill, which is estimated at more than R10 million.

In Parliament last year, Zuma refused to answer questions concerning his legal costs and told the National Council of Provinces that it was “not [his] problem”.

State attorney Isaac Chowe for the Presidency asked the court to make a costs order up to the April 6 date, according to News24.

Judge President Dunstan Mlambo ordered that the Presidency pay costs up to the present date.

“With the leave of the court, the withdrawal of the application for leave to appeal is duly granted. The applicant is ordered to pay the costs in the application for leave to appeal to date, being April 18 2018,” Mlambo said.

Chowe added that Ramaphosa’s withdrawal did not prevent Zuma from appealing the judgment in his private capacity.

Zuma appeared briefly in the Durban High Court on corruption charges two weeks ago after which the case was postponed to June 8 to allow for a review application.

His lawyer, Michael Hulley‚ disclosed that by mid-May‚ Zuma intended to file a challenge to National Prosecuting Authority head Shaun Abrahams’ decision to put him on trial.

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March 17 2019