OPINION

How long must public pay for Jacob Zuma? - Mmusi Maimane

DA leader it is unacceptable that Presidency is to pay for ex-President's legal costs at Zondo commission

DA Leader Maimane challenges the President to oppose Zuma’s permanent stay of prosecution

It is unconscionable, and unacceptable, that the Presidency has agreed to pay for Jacob Zuma’s legal costs for his participation in the Zondo Commission, on top of the costs for his criminal defence that the state already pays. How long will this government make the public pay for Jacob Zuma? President Ramaphosa should cut off this obscene funding immediately, and in fact the President should be opposing Zuma’s application for a permanent stay of prosecution.

If President Ramaphosa is serious about showing real commitment to fighting corruption, there is no way that he should be allowing the public to carry the cost of Zuma’s legal defence - this is a corruption tax on the public. Ramaphosa should be using the Zuma case as an opportunity to demonstrate that no one will be above the law in South Africa. He should instruct the state attorney to oppose Zuma’s application for a stay of prosecution. The DA calls on Ramaphosa to do so.

Regardless of whether the President rises to the occasion or not, the DA will not let Jacob Zuma get away with corruption. We have instructed our lawyers to begin the process of joining the case as an interested party to oppose Zuma’s application for a permanent stay of prosecution.

Zuma has been running from charges of fraud, money laundering, racketeering and corruption for a decade. Every day justice is postponed is another day justice is denied for almost 60 million South Africans.

If Ramaphosa can be so quick to offer to pay back the R500 000 “donation” from corrupt facilities management company, Bosasa, to his ANC Presidency election campaign, he should have no problem in taking a stand against making the people of South Africa paying to keep Zuma out of prison. President Ramaphosa’s decision will serve as a litmus test for the “good” and “bad” ANC myth.

The state is not a bail out bank for corrupt politicians. The DA will ensure that that anyone found guilty of corruption spends a minimum of 15 years behind bars.

Whether it is President Ramaphosa and his family’s links to Bosasa or the almost 800 charges haunting Zuma, we simply cannot have double standards over bribery and corruption in South Africa.

We will never be able to build One SA for All so long so as we are governed by Presidents who think that they are above the law. President Ramaphosa must decide whether his fealty lies with Zuma or the people of South Africa.

Statement issued by Mmusi Maimane, Leader of the Democratic Alliance, 25 November 2018