Jacob Zuma asks for ‘a helping hand’ with his legal fees

Former president Jacob Zuma, who is serving a 15 month jail term for being in contempt of court, has reached out to South Africans “and the world” to “please lend a helping hand” with his legal fees.

The spokesperson of the JG Zuma Foundation, Mzwanele Manyi confirmed the legitimacy of a request for donations to assist Zuma with his legal fees posted by the foundation on Twitter on Tuesday.

Zuma’s legal matters include an application with the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) to have his 15 month jail term, a sentence which he is currently serving at the Estcourt prison in KwaZulu-Natal for being in contempt of the same court, rescinded.

Zuma’s legal team, led by Advocate Dali Mpofu SC and Thabani Masuku SC, argued that the former president’s imprisonment was in violation of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the country’s Constitution.

The ConCourt has since requested Zuma’s legal team, the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture and its chair, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, Police Minister Bheki Cele and Police Commissioner, General Khehla Sitole to make submissions of no more than 20 pages on whether Zuma’s incarceration was in violation of any international laws.

The former president is also facing 18 charges of corruption, money laundering and fraud in the arms deal matter before the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

On 10 August 2021, the court ordered that the matter be postponed to 9 and 10 September 2021 due to Zuma’s health condition. The court also ordered that Zuma’s medical report should be provided by 20 August 2021.

The national prosecuting authority (NPA) confirmed that Zuma’s legal team missed the deadline to file a medical report and that “the court will deal with that”.

The former president’s legal bill reportedly stands at R18.2 million.

The digital banner requesting for donations to assist the president with his legal costs reads: “We humbly request for donations support to help cover the legal fees of our patron. Siyabonga [thank you].”

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