President Cyril Ramaphosa has today, 22 March 2018, submitted to the National Assembly’s questions office further information sought by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema on the legal provision relied on to fund former President Jacob Zuma’s personal legal costs.
President Ramaphosa undertook to provide further information while responding to questions in the National Assembly on 14 March 2018.
In the written response submitted today, President Ramaphosa indicated that:
I was informed that the State Attorney, at the time of considering the request made by President Zuma for legal representation at State expense, considered section 3(3) of the State Attorney Act, 1957 (as amended) to give her discretion where the State was not party to a matter but interested or concerned in it, or it was in the public interest to provide such representation to a government official.
The acts on the basis of which it is alleged that the former President committed criminal offences took place during his tenure as a government official both at provincial and later at national level.
In addition, the Department of Justice considered section 12.2.2 of the then applicable Treasury Regulations, issued in terms of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999, read with section 3(1) of the State Attorney Act, as providing for an obligation to refund the state if any loss was found to be incurred when an official was acting outside the course and scope of his employment.
For this reason, the State Attorney decided that it was appropriate to grant the request of the former President, subject to the condition that he make an undertaking (which he did) to refund monies thus spent should it be found that he acted in his personal capacity and own interest in the commission of the alleged offences.
Source: Government of South Africa