Ex-President Jacob Zuma is facing even more heat as the State Attorney and Presidency kick off legal action to make him cough up nearly R29 million in legal fees tied to his corruption trial defence.

This move comes after a Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) order two years ago, telling the State Attorney to go after state-funded legal costs for Zuma.


The State Attorney and Presidency are gunning for R28.960,774 from Zuma, which is R10 million more than what President Cyril Ramaphosa first estimated. State Attorney Isaac Chowe cleared up a mix-up in the demand letter, revealing extra expenses of R10,699,426.62.

“The total amount of R18 261 347.72, which was stated in the letter of demand, was based on the record of payments that could be traced at that stage, and after a diligent search and verification of the record of payments was conducted during the preparation of this application, it appeared that further monies were expended on Mr Zuma’s behalf totalling the sum of R10 699 426.62,” he stated according to a report by The Citizen.

Their goal, as outlined in the filing at Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, is to get Zuma to repay all the costs he incurred personally during the criminal prosecution and related litigation.


Back in 2006 and 2008, Zuma tapped State Attorney help for legal costs, but a later high court ruling said the state wasn’t on the hook, and Zuma needed to pay up. The DA and EFF weren’t on board with Zuma’s appeal at the SCA, which later called out the State Attorney and Presidency for handing Zuma a ‘blank cheque’ to fund private lawyers.

In a blistering 2021 ruling, the SCA pointed out the lack of transparency in giving Zuma state-funded legal aid, emphasising that taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill for Zuma’s personal legal battles. Despite claiming innocence, Zuma’s push for full state funding is now met with legal action.

Story by Precious Chinaza Godwin / The South African

By Dirk

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