Former President Jacob Zuma. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER
Former President Jacob Zuma. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER

Sitting in a chair covered in what appears to be a leopard skin, former president Jacob Zuma posted a video message on Sunday bemoaning the benefits apartheid killers received.

He took to Twitter to explain why he believed the state should continue footing his legal bill.

In two videos posted on the social media site, Zuma said he had told his lawyers to appeal against high court ruling that found  that the agreement between him and the presidency for the state to cover legal costs incurred in his personal capacity was invalid.

“I’m saying this because many leaders of the apartheid system – some of whom killed my colleagues – they were charged and there were quite a number of them… the state paid for their cases, not just one amount, very huge amounts. Paid by this very democratic state, that we all fought to bring about,” the former president said. 

“But the very same state is saying, me, one of among those who fought this very democratic state, I must pay for myself. So apartheid killers they must be defended by the state… fighters of the democratic country, they must pay for themselves.

“I just thought I should make those comments for all to know how I feel.”

So far, the state has paid between R15m and R32m in legal costs for Zuma. Earlier in 2018, Zuma pleaded poverty, saying if the state did not pay his legal fees he would not have the means to defend himself. It is likely he will appeal the ruling.

The former president is facing 16 charges of fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering stemming from 783 alleged payments to him in relation to the arms deal when he was KwaZulu-Natal MEC of economic affairs and tourism. Charges were dropped in 2009 and reinstated earlier in 2018.