By Barry Bateman and Clement Manyathela

President Cyril Ramaphosa has withdrawn his predecessor’s appeal of the personal costs order against Zuma for the failed bid to review the Public Protector’s State of Capture report.

The High Court in Pretoria had ordered Zuma to personally pick up the costs for his failed bid to have the Public Protector’s State of Capture report reviewed and set aside.

The full bench found Zuma’s conduct was ill-advised and reckless.

In court papers, the presidency says Ramaphosa is not liable for the punitive costs ordered against his predecessor in his personal capacity, adding that it does not act on Zuma’s behalf.

This means Zuma has an expensive gamble on his hands, either he coughs up the estimated R10 million in legal fees, or he personally applies for leave to appeal the costs order.

But if he fails, he accrues further costs he will have to fork out of his own pocket.

This is yet another legal blow for the former president, who is also fighting against an application by the Democratic Alliance to have him pay for nearly a decade’s worth a litigation in the spy tapes saga.

Zuma used last Friday’s address to his supporters, to proclaim innocence, to indirectly attack the African National Congress (ANC) and to express his gratitude towards the party’s members and religious organisations for supporting him as he faces what he describes as political charges.

Zuma appeared in the Durban High Court on Friday on charges of corruption, fraud and racketeering.

The matter has been postponed to 8 June to allow time for his legal team to file an application to review the National Prosecuting Authority’s decision to reinstate the charges.

Zuma was greeted with cheers and ululations by more than a thousand supporters outside court.

The former president thanked his supporters for prayers before taking an indirect swipe at the ANC for deciding against rallying behind him.

Speaking in IsiZulu he told supporters he doesn’t understand why he is being treated like a criminal by people he trusts.

“It surprising that the people who want to treat me like I’m guilty are the people I trust. In English, they say one is innocent until proven otherwise.”

Zuma also says he doesn’t understand why he is facing the same charges that were dropped over 10 years ago.

He also claimed that he’s being targeted for political reasons because he has spoken about economic freedom for the black majority.

He ended his address with an IsiZulu song that says “I am wounded by people close to me”.

-Eyewitness news

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