Cyril Ramaphosa and Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS/KOPANO TLAPE
Cyril Ramaphosa and Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS/KOPANO TLAPE

DA leader Mmusi Maimane has penned a letter to Cyril Ramaphosa requesting that the president immediately cancel a long-standing deal, in which it was agreed that the state would foot the bill for Jacob Zuma's legal battles.

This comes after the North Gauteng High Court ruled in 2018 that the presidency was not liable for the former president's legal bills in respect to the arms deal matter, in which Zuma faces 783 counts of fraud, corruption and racketeering.

The legal-fees deal was struck between then president Thabo Mbeki and Zuma more than a decade ago.

It is believed that Zuma will appeal against the court's decision.

In his letter on Monday, Maimane said Zuma's appeal would only serve to delay justice further "in a country that is crying out for justice".

"You can avoid this costly and unnecessary process by doing the right thing. Cancelling this deal with [Zuma] would represent a clean break with SA's damaging and frustrating past," Maimane wrote.

"It would send a clear message to the nation that public money will no longer be abused for personal ends ... It is time to put the country before your party."

Maimane also wants Ramaphosa to make public both the terms of the deal struck with Zuma and the full amount of money spent by the state on Zuma's legal fees, which is believed to be between R16m and R32m.