Jacob Zuma has been ordered to personally pay the costs of his failed attempt to stop the release of the State of Capture report by former public protector Thuli Madonsela.
Judge Dunstan Mlambo in the Pretoria high court stated the president had “clearly acted in flagrant disregard of the duties of the Public Protector”.
He described Zuma’s actions as “completely unreasonable” and “grossly remiss”.
The application was brought last year in an attempt to halt Madonsela from releasing the report.
The landmark judgment could see Zuma having to fork out substantial amounts for legal fees.
Mlambo was scathing of Zuma’s persistence in forging ahead with the legal action‚ even after a statement Zuma made in his own answering affidavit that if Madonsela’s report was finalised‚ it should be released‚ which rendered the entire application baseless.
“In my view, a simple punitive costs order is not sufficient . . . as the taxpayer will carry that burden.
“The conduct of the President requires a much sterner rebuke‚” Mlambo said‚ adding that Zuma’s conduct amounted to an attempt to stymie the Constitutional obligation of the Public Protector’s office.