Will Zuma get the money he needs to fund Stalingrad 2?
His strategy to stay out of jail is going to cost a fortune
President Cyril Ramaphosa has a crucial decision to make in the coming days – and it will shape the future of the corruption case against former president Jacob Zuma.
Lawyers for Zuma and Thint, the French arms company accused of bribing him, will on Friday morning ask that the case against them is postponed, so they can challenge the decision to proceed with their trial.
Thint lawyers want to make representations to the National Prosecuting Authority, in which they will argue that the case against them should not proceed.
Zuma’s legal team will seek a review of national director of public prosecutions Shaun Abrahams’s decision that there was no reason for him not to be tried.
Ramaphosa must decide whether to fight a Democratic Alliance application to stop continued legal funding for Zuma’s fight against his corruption prosecution. If he chooses to stay out of that legal battle, Zuma will undoubtedly fight the case on his own.The stakes are very high for Zuma.
That’s because Zuma’s strategy to thwart the case against him rests on at least three court bids to permanently stop it from going ahead – and that strategy needs money.
Until now, on the basis of a 2006 “deal” between the State Attorney and Zuma, the former president has enjoyed untrammeled funding for his multiple challenges to the corruption charges against him.
Zuma’s advocate, Kemp J Kemp, referred to this as the former president’s Stalingrad campaign, fighting the state “in every street, in every house”.
Answers to parliamentary questions reveal that the funding of Zuma’s battles against his prosecution has so far cost taxpayers at least R32.4-million.
But the DA wants Zuma’s legal funding to stop – and they want the High Court to order that Zuma refund the money he’s already spent on all his “fruitless” litigation.
Ramaphosa has told the EFF that the Presidency was obligated to continue to pay the legal fees, unless a court reviews it and sets it aside.
The Presidency reiterated this obligation in response to a lawyer’s letter from the DA.
“The Presidency is therefore bound by that decision and must continue paying for Mr Zuma's legal fees on the basis that it undertook to do so until such time as the decision is reviewed and set aside by a court.”
Ramaphosa’s responses suggest he may choose to abide by the court ruling on the DA application.
He has previously chosen not to get involved in the Constitutional Court case over Zuma’s appointment of Shaun Abrahams.