In raising questions about the amount spent by the state on the legal fees of former president Jacob Zuma, the DA and EFF have exposed a hole in executive regulation that is ripe for further exploitation by opportunistic politicians. On Tuesday, the DA announced that in answer to its questions the state attorney had revealed that the Presidency had spent R15.3m on Zuma’s legal fees in the nine-year saga over what are known as the spy tapes. President Cyril Ramaphosa repeated this in the National Assembly on Wednesday during question time. This arrangement, said Ramaphosa, dated back to 2006 when Zuma had entered into an agreement with the government that the money would be paid back if he was found to have been personally responsible for the crimes of which he was accused. The question immediately posed by the EFF was: on what legal provisions had the Presidency relied to make such an agreement? While Ramaphosa was vague and said he would provide further details in a week, the answe...

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