Former president Jacob Zuma’s lawyer says he is entitled to state funding for his corruption trial defence because he is accused of using his public office to commit that corruption.

Attorney Daniel Mantsha says a Democratic Alliance court bid to stop this state funding is “misconceived” and “has no merit” – and further accuses the opposition party of trying to undermine Zuma’s fair trial and constitutional rights.

In an affidavit filed nearly two months late‚ Mantsha has denied claims by the DA that the case against the former president “has nothing to do with his role as a public official” and he is therefore not entitled to state funding.

“One just has to have a casual read of the charges against him [Zuma] to notice that the [DA’s] contention is false and self-serving‚” he said.

Zuma is facing charges in relation to his relationship with his forner financial advisor Schabir Shaik‚ who was convicted of keeping Zuma – then deputy president of the ANC and later deputy president of South Africa – on a corrupt retainer. In exchange for multiple payments‚ Zuma allegedly used his power and position to further Shaik’s interests.