Jacob Zuma still seeks clarity on state paying legal bills
Former president Jacob Zuma still intends to lodge an application to review the decision to prosecute him, but wants clarity on whether he will still be fun-ded by the state.
Zuma made his second appearance in the High Court in Durban on Friday on corruption charges. However, this time his attorney Michael Hulley was in court representing him.
This follows the former president’s supposed financial woes, which forced him to cancel all briefs with counsel ahead of the court appearance.
Zuma is claiming that without state funding he does not have the means to defend himself in court.
The matter was again postponed and Zuma is expected back in court on July 27. The case has now been moved to the High Court in Pietermaritzburg.
The state has told the court it will be ready to proceed on November 12, but Zuma is likely to try again to delay the matter. He is likely to lodge an application for a stay of prosecution.
On Friday Hulley told KwaZulu-Natal deputy judge president Isaac Madondo that his client was waiting for clarity from the Presidency on whether the state would continue to fund Zuma’s legal battle pending the outcome of two separate applications — one brought by the DA and the other by the EFF — to have the state funding cut. The Presidency and the minister of justice have filed notices with the High Court in Pretoria indicating they would not oppose the applications and would abide by any court decision.
Hulley said he had written to the director-general in the Presidency on May 24 for clarity but had not yet received a response.
"We just want clarity on whether they intend maintaining the status quo or if there has been a review of the agreement with the Presidency."
Hulley had given the court an indication that by the next court appearance they were hoping to have more answers regarding Zuma’s funding issues.
The state has been funding Zuma’s legal battle since 2006.
Zuma had agreed with the Presidency that the state would continue to fund his defence and if he was found guilty he would pay back the money.
State prosecutor Billy Dow-ner told the court they were ready to start the trial on November 12.
"The state is ready and the defence is not ready, we have to deal with that," he said.
The state has also received representations from Zuma’s co-accused, French arms company Thales, requesting that the charges against the company be withdrawn.
Thales’s application to have the charges withdrawn and any application brought by Zuma would be dealt with in July.