Ministers have had it with Zuma lawyers - report

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma has come under criticism from none other than his security cluster ministers for his continued reliance on his legal advisers, including his longtime lawyer, Michael Hulley, the Mail & Guardian reported on Friday.

Just days ago, the cluster - which includes the ministers of intelligence, defence, police and justice - mentioned their concerns about the quality of legal advice Zuma is receiving, the newspaper said it had learned.

Last year, Zuma said that Hulley was paid almost R700 per hour in his capacity as legal advisor to the president, Sapa reported.

Former justice minister Jeff Radebe also revealed last year that Hulley had raked in R8.8m in legal fees from the department since 2009, The Star said.

The cluster is apparently concerned that Hulley is being kept “too close” to Zuma because he is now “more than a lawyer”, a government source has told the M&G.

The source says that there have been attempts to oust Hulley and the other legal advisors, but to no avail.

This comes as the 16:00 Friday deadline draws near for the Democratic Alliance and Zuma’s legal team to deliver an agreement on the spy tapes to the Supreme Court of Appeal to be made a court order.

Zuma’s lawyers had gone to the SCA over a North Gauteng High Court decision ordering the NPA to hand over a copy of the tapes to the DA, Sapa says.

But Zuma’s lawyers conceded in court last Friday that there was no legal basis to keep the so-called spy tapes secret.

The tapes, transcripts, and other documents, relate to a decision the NPA took in 2009 to drop corruption charges against Zuma.

In papers filed as part of the appeal, Zuma maintains his representations to the NPA were made on a confidential basis.