CAPE TOWN– South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has told the National Assembly here that the government has to wait until court processes are finalised before acting on former president Jacob Zuma’s repayment of legal costs.
On Wednesday, the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), announced that it had begun legal proceedings to ensure that Zuma pays back more than 15 million Rand (about 1.26 million US dollars) in legal fees relating to 783 corruption, racketeering and money laundering charges.
The Supreme Court of Appeal last year refused Zuma and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) leave to appeal a High Court ruling, which set aside a 2009 decision to drop the charges related to the arms deal.
The DA says Zuma and former president Thabo Mbeki had struck a “secret deal” for Zuma to pay his legal costs.
Ramaphosa appeared before the National Assembly on Wednesday for his first oral question and answer session since being elected President on Feb 15.
The court will be able to make a determination, and in this regard they will even have line of sight of this agreement that has been reached. Right now, because the agreement is still in place, there is just no way in which we could say that in violation of the agreement that was reached that he must pay the legal costs, the president told Parliament.
I know that it would be exciting on many people’s minds that he must pay back the costs but we have to wait until that case is finalised and a determination is made by the court.”
The DA has also called on President Ramaphosa to join them in recovering the money, saying that Ramaphosa can’t talk tough on corruption and wasteful spending, yet turn a blind eye to what the DA describes as blatant abuse of taxpayers money.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK