PRETORIA– South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has clarified that former president Jacob Zuma’s legal fees will be paid by the government except for those relating to cases where the court finds that Zuma acted in his personal capacity.

The State Attorney decided that it was appropriate to grant the request of the former President, subject to the condition that he make an undertaking — which he did — to refund monies thus spent should it be found that he acted in his personal capacity and own interest in the commission of the alleged offences, said Ramaphosa in a statement.

Ramaphosa said this was done in line with section 12.2.2 of the then applicable Treasury Regulations, issued under the Public Finance Management Act, 1999, together with section 3(1) of the State Attorney Act, which states that if it is found that an official was acting outside the course and scope of his employment and lost a case, that official must refund the State.

The President provided the clarification on the former president’s legal fees following questions from the leader of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, Julius Malema during an oral reply session on March 13, 2018.

The EFF’s questions referred to cases in which it is alleged that the former president committed criminal offences took place during his tenure as a government official both at provincial and later at national level.

The request made by Zuma for legal representation at State expense, was considered under section 3(3) of the State Attorney Act, 1957.