Date set for DA's review of Zuma's legal fees agreement

The Democratic Alliance has confirmed that its application to review and set aside the agreement between the Presidency and former president Jacob Zuma to cover his legal costs will be heard on November 6 and 7.

The DA said in a statement on Monday that the matter will be heard before a full bench of the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

The opposition party filed papers at the High Court in late March, asking it to set aside a 2006 agreement the Presidency had signed, over legal costs Zuma incurred for his criminal prosecution.

This was after President Cyril Ramaphosa revealed that the agreement, signed by Zuma under former president Thabo Mbeki, formed the basis for the decision to continue paying for Zuma's legal fees in the spy tapes case.

In March, it was revealed that R15.3m had already been paid in the time he had been challenging the "spy tapes" matter – recordings of an apparent plot against him – as he faces charges related to allegedly accepting a bribe from French arms company Thales in the awarding of the arms deal.

Financial support from public coffers

DA Federal Council chairperson James Selfe said in a statement that the figure was likely to be much higher, as the R15.3m was confined to litigation involving the DA.

"We have also requested that the court order that the R15.3m already spent be refunded to the State," he said.

"Mr Zuma, especially, should not be entitled to any more financial support from the public coffers."

Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko said in June that the State would carry on covering Zuma's legal fees until a court decides otherwise.

READ: State will pay Zuma's legal fees until court rules otherwise

The Presidency filed a notice to say that it would abide by the decision of the court and would not challenge the outcome.

"So if the court says we shouldn't pay, then we wouldn't pay," she told News24 at the time.

In the meantime, the Presidency has provided the additional information required ahead of the case in terms of what they were paying for, the agreement to pay and other supplementary information.

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