Former President Jacob Zuma has embraced his new Twitter presence, and took to it on Sunday afternoon to explain why he has made the decision to appeal the High Court’s recent ruling that he is responsible for at least some of his legal costs.
He recorded two videos detailing the reasoning behind his appeal, which mainly focuses on what Zuma feels is South Africa’s inconsistency regarding court rulings, notably when legal costs are involved.
What he is referring to points to those involved in the apartheid system that were charged with killing his ANC comrades, he says. These people were not asked to cover their own legal costs, Zuma explains, saying that the state footed their bill, and he expects the current democratic government to do the same.
“The state paid for their cases. Not just small amounts … very huge amounts. Paid by this very democratic state that we all fought to bring about. But the very same state is saying me, one among those who fought for this very democratic state, I must pay for myself,” he says in the second video.
My opinion on recent events – 2 pic.twitter.com/EBuETZIN4t
— Jacob G Zuma (@PresJGZuma) December 23, 2018
Sitting calmly in an armchair, Zuma says that he cannot be expected to pay his legal costs when “apartheid killers” were defended by the state, and that it is wrong for “fighters of the democratic country must pay for themselves.”
Despite Zuma flagging his intention to appeal the ruling with his lawyers already, he thought a candid explanation would suffice in explaining how he came to the conclusion that the state should pay his legal costs.
He also wanted to make sure that people understood that following court judgements was imperative, but that he felt that the court’s decision was inconsistent when compared with previous judgements, such as in the apartheid killers reference he makes.
“…Once the court has taken a decision, it has taken a decision. But all of us must listen properly to the case, and look at the evidence, and compare the evidence, perhaps to the judgement. But also, to look at the judgement and decide whether we are consistent in this country at applying the law.”
The High Court in Pretoria handed down judgment on December 13 on whether Zuma can be held personally liable for at least some of the millions spent on his legal costs fighting corruption charges.
It was ruled that Zuma will have to repay the money as soon as the costs are finalised. If he can’t do it, the EFF and DA will be able to approach the courts to attach his assets. The fees were incurred as far back as 2006, during Zuma’s criminal prosecution in the spy tapes matter.