President Jacob Zuma has spent almost R10 million on legal fees and “exorbitant legal counsel’ in the past seven years, the DA said on Saturday.
Federal Executive chairperson James Selfe in a statement said according to its research, Zuma had spent “an inordinate amount of taxpayers’ money on keeping himself from facing justice,” with its tally totalling R9,036,569.53.
“This is despite there being no basic services for the millions of South Africans who so deserve them,” he said.
“This is the hallmark of frivolous expenditure for one man.”
Selfe said this amount was set to rise as the “president and his cronies at the National Prosecuting Authority” appeal the high court ruling against Zuma and the corruption charges he could face due to the “Spy Tape” saga.
“This is indicative of how much the ANC State has become preoccupied with protecting President Zuma and that alone.”
He said reports released earlier this year had revealed that government departments enter into and proceed with costly litigation “despite senior legal advice that these cases are without any legal merit and are sure to be thrown out by the courts”.
“This sort of frivolous litigation is something that we have seen play out in our courts time and time again. Most notabe is the president’s defence of the Nkandla matter which ended in concession on the steps of the Constitutional Court with a massive team of five advocates for the president alone.
“Another such example is the Booysen matter where the State has lost more than five times in trying to get rid of the KZN Hawks boss, Johann Booysen, on baseless claims.
“This is also true of the litigation around the suitability of Hlaudi Motsoeneng to be the chief operating officer of the SABC, which has involved the DA in four separate court cases. Subsequent events at Auckland Park have shown how justified we were in seeking his removal.”
Selfe said it was easy for the State to pursue litigation “using other peoples’ money”.
“It is our contention that the ministers and directors-general should be held liable and be made to pay personally for these exercises in wasting valuable financial resources.”