Pouring out his mind on his heads of argument, filed in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, President Zuma told a full bench of judges that it will be ideal for taxpayers to pay his state capture legal bill.
He further argued that when he filed and subsequently withdrew his application to block the state capture, he did so in his capacity as South Africa’s President and not in his personal capacity. Hence the reason why taxpayers should foot the legal cost.
He further emphasized that the primary reason why he moved to interdict the so-called report was because his rights as president were infringed, adding that Madonsela’s investigative process was flawed.
Zuma’s argument follows Gauteng High Court’s order, asking him to file heads of argument and setting out why he should not pay the legal cost personally.
Reports had it that throughout the proceedings of the state capture saga, President Zuma employed the services of State Attorney – leaving him with the option of either paying the attorney paying or doing so from taxpayers’ purse.
The legal bill is said to run in millions. The counsel for the various opposition parties who indicated interest to have the report released had argued earlier that it would be outrageous to impose the bill on taxpayers.
“There is no basis in law or fact to saddle the taxpayer with the costs incurred in this application,” counsel for DA, COPE, EFF and UDM maintained.
On November 2, Zuma abandoned a court bid to block former Public Protector Madonsela’s watchdog’s report into corruption allegations against him.
The dramatic move came as thousands of people from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) took to the streets of Pretoria to demand his immediate resignation.
Meanwhile, the Judges have promised to set a date when the state capture legal bill application would be officially heard in court.