Zuma ordered to pay costs for attempted block of corruption probe

15 Dec 17

South Africa’s high court has ordered president Jacob Zuma to pay the legal costs for trying to block a demand for an official inquiry into allegations against his government. 

Zuma will be liable to pay for the costs of his failed attempts to stop the release of the report on corruption by the former public protector Thuli Madonsela, the court said.

High Court judge president Dunstan Mlambo said: “The president’s persistence to continue with the application [for an interdict against the public protector] amounts to abuse of judicial process.

“He is ordered to personally pay the costs.”

He described Zuma’s actions as “completely unreasonable” and “grossly remiss”.

The judge said Zuma was aware the report had been finalised and was ready to be published, but the president had tried to stop Madonsela from releasing it and attempted to review the report before it was released.

He also said Zuma had known about the allegations of state capture against him, but had not tried to state his case and was protecting personal interests.

The court is due to rule on whether Zuma is legally compelled by the public protector to set up the inquiry.

Mlambo said the taxpayer would carry the burden and “a simple punitive costs order is not sufficient”.

Zuma will quit as the leader of the African National Congress next week, but is due to remain as president until elections in 2019. 

He has appealed against a court ruling that his appointment of a state prosecutor to decide whether to reinstate corruption charges against him was not valid, local media reported on Thursday. 

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