The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are demanding that attorney Michael Hulley be ordered to pay back close to R32-million millions in taxpayers’ money that has so far been spent on former president Jacob Zuma’s legal fees.
Zuma is said to have missed a Wednesday deadline to challenge prosecutions boss Shaun Abrahams' decision not to accept his representations and allow the criminal case against him to proceed.
Senior Specialist reporter and Journalist at Tiso Blackstar Karyn Maughan says questions over who’s paying Zuma's legal bills may be the reason why he has missed the deadline.
According to her report the EFF is now seeking an order that both Zuma and Hulley pay back the money spent on the former president’s legal costs within six months – plus interest.
While we are desperately trying to get answers from Michael Hulley about this, there have been very strong suggestions that the failure by Zuma's legal team to meet their own deadline may very well be driven by the reluctance of council to get involved in a case where there are such clear and apparent questions about whether they are going to get paid or not.— Karyn Maughan, Journalist at Tiso Blackstar
She says the move by the EFF sets a precedent.
It is completely precedent setting but on a kind of legal political strategy level, it is extremely smart because they are basically saying look the president was not entitled to this money in the first place and they are sending a message to any lawyers who take on the former president's campaign.— Karyn Maughan, Journalist at Tiso Blackstar
They face the very real prospect that at the end of this, the court of law is going to turn around and say you are not entitled to this money and potentially of you have received money, you need to pay it back. That is the genius of the EFF's application.— Karyn Maughan, Journalist at Tiso Blackstar
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This article first appeared on 702 : 'EFF's demand to have Zuma's lawyer pay his legal fees is a smart move'