South Africa News

Constitutional Court dismisses Jacob Zuma’s R10m cost order appeal, hits him with more costs

Former president Jacob Zuma’s personal cost order against him has been struck off the roll, with costs.

The Constitutional Court (ConCourt) heard Zuma’s application to appeal the estimated R10 million personal cost order against him on Thursday morning.

The case is related to Zuma’s failed bid in 2017 to set aside and later review then public protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report.

The Pretoria high court held the former statesman personally liable for the costs of his application, after finding that Zuma was “completely unreasonable” for opposing the release of the report.
At the time, Madonsela instructed Zuma appoint the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture to investigate wide-scale corruption claims against his close associates, the Gupta brothers. Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng chose his deputy, Justice Raymond Zondo, to head the commission after the high court ordered that Zuma should appoint the commission.
In October 2020, Zuma lost his appeal of the costs order in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), after arguing the high court erred in holding him personally liable for legal costs.

Judge A Schippers said at the time Zuma’s delay in establishing the commission of inquiry was “prejudicial both to the public and national interest, and subversive of our democratic ethos”.

The SCA dismissed Zuma’s leave to appeal application with costs.

Zuma’s arms deal trial
On Wednesday, Zuma appeared in the Pietermaritzburg High Court for his arms deal corruption case.

The trial was postponed to 19 July 2021 for the adjudication of Zuma’s special plea to remove National Prosecuting Authority prosecutor Billy Downer from the case.

Zuma has accused Downer of smearing his name and leaking information related to the corruption case to the media.

The former president and French arms manufacturer Thales are on trial over the controversial multibillion-rand arms deal concluded in the 1990s.

He is facing 16 counts including fraud‚ corruption, money laundering, and racketeering, while Thales faces four counts.

Zuma and Thales pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

-The Citizen

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