Dismissal of Zuma appeal against Public Protector cost order a victory for South Africa
The DA welcomes the decision by the North Gauteng High Court to dismiss former president Jacob Zuma’s application for leave to appeal the cost order granted in his unsuccessful challenge of former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capturereport.
Zuma’s motive in launching this litigation was to obfuscate the Public Protector’s findings and frustrate her remedial action, specifically to establish the State Capture Inquiry. He purposefully did not want this commission established because it would implicate him, his family and those who were politically connected to him. He subsequently and belatedly abandoned this contention, and appointed the Inquiry.
However, the Court found that he had litigated irresponsibly and awarded a personal and punitive cost order against Mr Zuma.
This is a victory for not only the DA but also for the South African taxpayer. This sends out a very strong message to government officials and members of the Executive that they cannot use state resources to litigate frivolously.
It has become a popular trend among ANC leadership to appeal adverse court judgments to evade accountability where they have violated the Constitution or broken the law. Indeed, this application has just been another failed attempt to avoid accountability and delay justice.
This court judgment has consequences for another matter before the North Gauteng High Court, argued by ourselves this week, in which we ask for the agreement between the Presidency and Jacob Zuma to cover the legal costs incurred by him during his criminal prosecution to be set aside. We trust that the bench hearing this matter will take judicial notice of today’s judgment.
This also has grave implications for Constitutional delinquents like Malusi Gigaba and Bathabile Dlamini who continue to use public money to defend their failure to carry out their duties in accordance with the Constitution.
The DA has a long history of holding the government to account and we will continue to defend the Constitution against those who seek to violate it for personal benefit.
Statement issued by James Selfe MP, DA Federal Council Chairperson, 9 November 2018