Former president Jacob Zuma has terminated the services of his long-time attorney Michael Hulley.
Hulley has confirmed that his legal brief was terminated two weeks ago and he no longer represents Zuma, TimesLive reported.
It is not clear who will be replacing Hulley. The lawyer has been Zuma’s legal representative for years and saw him through dozens of legal battles, including fighting off the very same corruption charges he is currently facing.
Zuma is expected to appear in court on July 27 in connection to the 16 corruption charges against him, and he is also expected to appear with his new legal team.
Earlier this year National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) boss Shaun Abrahams decided to go ahead with charging Zuma for corruption linked to the arms deal. He has already made two appearances in connection to that case.
It was reported a few weeks ago that there was uncertainty surrounding who will fund Zuma’s legal fees.
Zuma’s legal bill uncertainty is largely driven by the DA’s court case to scrap the 2006 legal agreement between Zuma and the Presidency to fund his legal bills.
The deal stated that he would be required to pay back the money if he was to ever be found guilty by the court.
President Cyril Ramaphosa revealed in Parliament that the state had spent R15.3 million on Zuma’s legal defence of corruption charges.
Ramaphosa said the state was funding his bills because the charges came about while he was already in government.
The DA immediately launched a court application to force Zuma to pay back the R15.3 million and to ensure that the state stops funding his legal bills. The party believes the 2006 agreement was illegal.
Zuma’s lawyers said they would be challenging Abrahams’ decision, to reinstate the corruption but have yet to file papers to overturn the decision.
Ramaphosa is a respondent in the DA court matter and filed papers indicating that the president would abide by the decision taken by court and would not oppose the matter.
But the Presidency has said that it would continue to fund Zuma’s legal bills, until a court had ruled otherwise.