Spy tapes case ‘costs taxpayers R25 million’

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The DA’s James Selfe, who has been at the forefront of ensuring that President Jacob Zuma has his day in court for the last 8 and a half years. Selfe was speaking to a media briefing following the Supreme Court of Appeal’s hearing on the charges against Zuma. PHOTO: Pulane Choane

The ongoing matter regarding the case dubbed the “Spytapes case”, has cost the taxpayer an excess of over R25-million in court charges over the last 8 and a half years.

This is according to the Democratic Alliance’s Federal Executive, James Selfe, who also believes that there are excellent grounds for President Jacob Zuma to pay for the court case out of his own pocket. The case includes 783 criminal charges relating to the 1999 multi-billion rand arms deal.

The DA executive was speaking to journalist after a full bench of judges at the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein announced that judgement in the Jacob Zuma matter was reserved.

This came after Zuma’s lawyer, Advocate Kemp J Kemp, conceded with the 2016 Pretoria High Court ruling that the NPA’s decision in 2009 to drop 783 criminals charges against Zuma was “irrational”, “illegal” and needed to be set aside.

“I know what this case has cost us and we have only had to pay for our counsel. Frequently, they’ve had to pay for our counsel too, but I think the cost must already run into R25 million to R30 million on the side of the tax payer,” Selfe said.

He went on to say he believes for Zuma to pay back the money for the court case would only be fair to the South African taxpayer. Selfe said Zuma’s team has over the years tried several tricks to avoid today’s proceedings, and after so many years of fighting, he was surprised to hear the legal teams concede in one morning.

He says this in itself is an abuse of the process and another “delaying tactic” on the part of the NPA and Zuma’s legal team to ensure that Zuma does not get prosecuted. Selfe is adamant that the DA will follow on this matter for as long as the process will take, as the DA believes that Zuma must account for those criminal charges.

“We have been here for 8 and a half years. I don’t care if it takes another 18 and a half years, but we ultimately will get to a point where Jacob G Zuma has his day in court,” Selfe exclaimed.

– PULANE CHOANE

pulane@centralmediagroup.co.za