The ruling upheld an earlier High Court ruling that South African taxpayers should not pay for his lawyer’s fees in the corruption case, a ruling he had made.
“If the state is burdened by the high litigation costs of the public officials charged with such crimes, the taxpayers bear that burden,” the verdict said.
In 2018, two opposition parties, the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters, launched a legal action to force President Cyril Ramhosa to stop state funding for Zuma’s legal battles.
The court also criticized Zuma for publicly criticizing the country’s judicial system and the judges who ruled against him. Zuma had accused them of being biased against him without presenting any evidence.
“There is nothing in the minutes to support the conclusion that the presiding judges in this case (or on a more generalized level in other cases involving Mr. Zuma) were biased or that they were not open-minded, impartial or fair, Said the ruling.
“The allegations were made with a ruthless disregard of the truth,” the court said in the verdict.
Zuma is accused of corruption in the country’s controversial 1999 arms procurement process, and the trial is set to begin on May 17.
Zuma is accused of receiving bribes through his then-economic adviser Schabir Shaik, who was convicted of related charges in 2005. Shaik was released on medical probation in 2009.
The latest decision is a setback for Zuma, who faces legal battles on several fronts, including a pending court decision on whether he should be jailed for refusing to testify in a state commission examining a transplant while he was president from 2009 to 2018 .
The Commission has heard evidence that Zuma allowed members of the controversial Gupta family to influence his cabinet and state contracts in favor of their business.
Zuma has refused to testify in the Commission, where he has been implicated by several witnesses, including people who were cabinet ministers when he was president.