Pres. Zuma needs the additional R2.1-million his office got from Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan for legal costs to fight the many legal proceedings he is facing.
Zuma’s spokesman Bongani Ngqulunga confirmed that the Presidency did receive an additional allocation for legal costs.
He said the Presidency received the additional funding due to Pres. Zuma being cited as a respondent in many legal proceedings against the state.
Last week Gordhan had allocated an additional R2.1-million for “increased legal fees and related costs”, according to the adjusted estimates of national expenditure released by Gordhan during last month’s mid-term budget policy statement.
This prompted Cosatu to “totally denounce” the wasteful expenditure of taxpayers’ money by public representatives on frivolous legal challenges.
“The legal system is not a tool for politicians to hide their nefarious activities and for grey bureaucrats to hide their mediocrity and incompetence,” said Cosatu, adding that some public representatives were vexatious litigants abusing the legal process to defend the indefensible.
Ngqulunga also said the Presidency had incurred another R30-million in travel costs in the first six months of the 2016/2017 financial year due to it now directly paying for travelling while in the past the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) was responsible for its travel arrangements.
“This is not substantially different from what the Presidency has spent before on travelling. The only reason why the costs have become clearer now is because the Presidency directly pays for travelling instead of letting Dirco do so, as was the case before,” he said.
The Presidency is also liable for a third of the legal costs incurred by the EFF, which lodged the Constitutional Court case to force Zuma to pay back the money for the non-security upgrades to his Nkandla homestead, and the DA, which was granted direct access to the court.