Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: REUTERS/ SIPHIWE SIBEKO
Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: REUTERS/ SIPHIWE SIBEKO

Former president Jacob Zuma’s legal fees have cost taxpayers R16.8m since 2006, a letter sent by President Cyril Ramaphosa to National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete reveals.

The previously confirmed sum was R15.3m, with the additional R1.4m being discovered in investigations by the department of justice.

Ramaphosa’s letter to Mbete said the sum of R16.78m was confirmed by director-general in the presidency Cassius Lubisi, in an affidavit submitted to the Gauteng High Court.

The president was correcting a reply he had given in the National Assembly in March that the legal costs amounted to R15.3m.

The DA has launched an application to review and set aside the agreements between the presidency and Zuma to cover the legal costs incurred by him for his criminal prosecution. The case will be heard in the High Court in Pretoria on November 6-7.

"Over the last decade, Zuma has exploited our justice system with numerous court proceedings that had the intention of avoiding or delaying criminal prosecutions against him. He has also misused the courts to maintain his grip on power," DA federal council chairman James Selfe said Friday.

"The taxpayer has so far footed the bulk of the legal bill for this. The DA will not stand by and let this unjust situation continue.

"South Africans have already paid too dearly for Zuma’s term in office and should not be required to foot the costs of his legal proceedings. Zuma should not be entitled to any further financial support from the government or the people of South Africa."