Former president Jacob Zuma stands on the brink of financial devastation as he faces his last court battle to stop his corruption prosecution. There is an estimated R26m in legal costs hanging over his head and a court ruling blocking any further state funding of his defence. Where Zuma’s attempts to appeal rulings that went against him — as president or as the accused — were once criticised as cynical efforts to delay the inevitable, his challenges to two devastating costs rulings are now matters of survival. Zuma cannot afford not to appeal. His strategy of legal Stalingrad has become his prison. And without the intervention of a ridiculously wealthy and generous benefactor, he cannot venture outside it. Just days before the high court cut off state funding for his defence, Zuma had petitioned the Supreme Court of Appeal for the right to challenge the other damaging costs-related order made against him — one linked to his "reckless" litigation in the state capture saga. Zuma wants...

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