The justice department‚ right up to Minister Michael Masutha‚ will not help Jacob Zuma argue that the state should keep paying his legal fees – meaning that the former president’s last hope for a government ally rests with his successor‚ Cyril Ramaphosa.
In papers filed to the High Court in Pretoria‚ dated May 21‚ the State Attorney writes that it will abide by the court’s ruling when it decides on applications by the Economic Freedom Fighters and the Democratic Alliance to turn the taps off on government’s continued funding of Zuma’s fees.
The documents also cite Masutha‚ the fourth respondent‚ and his director-general‚ the fifth respondent in the EFF’s case.
Given that the other respondents in the case are Zuma‚ his lawyer Michael Hulley‚ Ramaphosa and the chief operations officer in the Presidency‚ Lakela Kaunda‚ it appears that Zuma’s replacement will decide whether or not the former president has to go it alone when he argues that he’s entitled to continued funding.
Ramaphosa has yet to file papers indicating his stance on the matter.
On Wednesday‚ Hulley warned that this looming court battle over funding could delay Zuma’s trial‚ potentially for years.
It also remains unclear how Zuma will pay for his bid to retain state funding of his defense fees.