Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Thursday, June 21, 2007

State still funding Zuma's legal costs
Now I know a lot of people are going to be up in arms about this, but it's important to know the facts. Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka yesterday confirmed that the state will probably continue to fund Zuma's legal defence against the graft charges.

It's important to note that this is a courtesy extended to most employees of the state in higher office. Wouter Basson and Magnus Malan's legal costs were paid by the state, and I can assure you, if Mbeki thought he could get away with not paying Zuma's costs, he would. It's also important to know that the state claims back the costs should the employee lose the case.

This last point gives an idea of the end-game Zuma is playing here. We know from the Shaik trial that Zuma is a largely bankrupt man who cannot take care of the money he earns, and he has already run up lawyers bills of more than R8 million. Expect this to double should he be re-prosecuted by the NPA, which would leave him probably R20 million in the red.

Game. Over.