Former president Jacob Zuma, in a desperate battle to avoid paying back about R16m in legal fees incurred by taxpayers in his fight to avoid corruption charges, has accused the judges who ordered him to repay the funds of political bias.

Zuma, who is also facing a lawsuit from former minister Derek Hanekom after he suggested the latter had been an apartheid spy, has filed papers challenging the 2018 ruling by the high court in Pretoria. He says the courts should “never” criticise or condemn him over his multiple legal bids. Forcing him to pay back the money is an unfair violation of his constitutional rights, he says.

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