Zuma’s court expenses incurred in line with State Attorney Act - Presidency

Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa has no reason to believe that there is a basis to seek the recovery of the R15.3m spent by his predecessor Jacob Zuma on legal fees for his nine-year "spy tapes" challenge, his spokesperson said on Tuesday.

"All expenditure incurred by former president Zuma was incurred in line with the provisions of the State Attorney Act," Ramaphosa's spokesperson Khusela Diko told News24.

"There is no basis at this point for the president to believe that this money should be personally recovered as it was in line with the Act."

She confirmed the figures provided to the DA in a letter from the state attorney on Tuesday, saying it was the same provided to the Presidency based on an enquiry by its office.

After Zuma failed to answer the question on how much he had spent on the case in Parliament, the DA in November approached the Western Cape High Court to compel him to reveal it.

The state attorney said the office was instructed by Ramaphosa to provide the details after having considered the court approach.

The letter reads: "We are instructed to inform you that since May 1, 2009 an amount of R15 300 250 was incurred by the Presidency on legal costs pertaining to the National Prosecuting Authority's decision to decline to prosecute former president Zuma on charges of fraud, corruption and racketeering."

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said Zuma was now liable to pay back the money, because the spy tapes case was against him in his personal capacity, and before he was president.

He had called on Ramaphosa to join their legal action to recover the money.