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Zuma loses court challenge on litigation costs

South Africa's Constitutional Court on Thursday threw out an appeal by former president Jacob Zuma against a lower court order…

South Africa’s Constitutional Court on Thursday threw out an appeal by former president Jacob Zuma against a lower court order to meet the costs incurred when he challenged the 2017 release of an Ombudsman’s report on his alleged corrupt dealings.According to the Constitutional Court, it threw away Zuma’s bid to appeal the US$700,000 bill due to its lack of merit.

The court said the order to strike off the appeal was issued because Zuma failed to interdict the release of the then Public Protector (Ombudsman) Thuli Madonsela’s “State of Capture” report during his High Court hearings.

The High Court first ordered Zuma to pay court costs in 2017 following his failure to stop the publication of the report but he refused to do so, and instead took the matter to the Constitutional Court, the country’s highest judicial forum, for hearing.

Madonsela had investigated allegations that the controversial Gupta family had benefited illegally from state resources, using Zuma as an alleged influencer in the Indian-born brothers’ business deals with state-owned firms.

Zuma had argued that the order against him to meet the costs of the court case was incorrect because at the time he was fighting the release of the Ombudsman’s report he was acting in his capacity as the president of the country.

There has been no reaction from the former president on his latest personal setback since the Constitutional Court’s ruling was issued on Thursday morning.

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