State to pay Simelane's costly legal bills
The bill is R1,7 million - so far
The State will pay the legal costs for Menzi Simelane, whose appointment as national director of public prosecutions has been challenged by the DA over his appointment, the Business Day reported on Thursday.
“The amount of legal costs incurred and paid on behalf of Adv Simelane thus far... amounted to R1,770,324.90,” Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said in response to a parliamentary question on Wednesday.
“Adv Simelane’s legal costs... were incurred as a result of a legal challenge... Adv Simelane was cited in papers as the incumbent of the post and it was on this basis that he was granted legal representation at state expense.”
The amount would not be repaid.
“I do not intend recovering the said costs from Adv Simelane for the following reasons: the court challenge was a review and setting aside of his appointment,” Radebe was quoted as saying.
“Adv Simelane was appointed by the president and therefore occupied the post... There is no irregularity or unlawfulness on the part of Adv Simelane when he was appointed.”
Simelane has been on special leave since the end of last year when the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that President Jacob Zuma had and Radebe had failed to consider misgivings about Simelane when he was appointed to the post.
The matter is now on appeal to the Constitutional Court.