Former President Jacob Zuma
Image Source: Flickr

Jacob Zuma cost order appeal dismissed by Supreme Court

Zuma sought to have the costs order laid against him by the Pretoria High Court dismissed, but has been left with further legal fees to pay.


Former President Jacob Zuma
Image Source: Flickr

Former President Jacob Zuma has lost yet another appeal, with the personal cost order demanded of him by the Pretoria High Court upheld, with the Supreme Court of Appeals (SCA) now ordering him to pay the costs of the failed appeal too. 

Zuma appealed the order demanding him to pay legal fees for a previous challenge relating to the State Capture Report issued by then Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, who’s legal costs are the subject of dispute in the matter heard on Friday. 

Zuma loses another appeal  

It’s no easy task keeping track of all the appeals, and appeals of appeals, that Msholozi and his legal team have on their plate. He recently lost out to former African National Congress (ANC) comrade Derek Hanekom in a defamation suit. 

His latest legal setback involves his decision to institute a review of the state capture report in 2016, which was deemed “reckless”

Judge Ashton Schippers agreed with the opposing respondents that Zuma’s attempt to obtain a leave to appeal the costs order constitutes “an abuse of power”.

“The respondents submitted that Mr Zuma’s conduct in proceeding with this application, and his attempt to relitigate the merits of the review, constitute an abuse of process.” 

“There is force in this submission, given that in both the review application and these proceedings, Mr Zuma sought to justify the impermissible rather than accept the error in his challenge.”

Supreme Court uninterested in appeal  

Schippers said that it is inconceivable to even consider the motion as credible, given that the delay in establishing the promised commission of enquiry into serious allegations of state capture “was prejudicial both the public and national interest, and subversive of our democratic ethos”. 

“It cannot conceivably be in the interests of justice to permit Mr Zuma to pursue an appeal against the costs order, in circumstances where the launch of the review application was reckless and motivated by personal interests,” said Schippers. 

“For those reasons, a punitive costs order in this application is justified. The applicant has not established a reasonable prospect of success on appeal. It is therefore unnecessary to consider the High Court’s refusal to condone the late filing of the application for leave to intervene.”

The end result is that Zuma’s application for leave to appeal is dismissed with costs, including the costs of both his and Madonsela’s counsel.