R8,6m spent on luxury cars for Zuma’s wives

The DA has lashed out at the ruling party after it was revealed that almost R9 million has been spent on luxury vehicles for President Jacob Zuma's wives

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko has revealed that the South African ministry of police has set aside R1,93 billion for VIP protection for members of the Cabinet, reports Business Tech.

Of this amount, a whopping R125,1 million has been budgeted for the VIP protection of President Jacob Zuma, his wives and his immediate family.

The minister noted these amounts in a written response to a parliamentary question asked by the Democratic Alliance’s (DA’s) Zakhele Mbele.

South Africa has one of the largest cabinets with 75 members compared to some of the largest economies in the world. A breakdown of the amount reveals that an estimated R25,7 million per Cabinet member.
R8,6m spent on luxury cars for Zuma’s wives
In his response, the minister also noted that the total amount also includes “compensation and relevant indirect costs” that have to do with VIP security.

Business Tech also notes that the minister wants a budget of R2,61 billion for the 2016/17 financial year – an amount that makes up about 2,2% of the complete South African Police Service budget of R80,9 billion.

The economy is bleeding jobs, while President Zuma continues to bleed South Africans dry

Also noted in the written response is the purchasing of 10 vehicles for the president’s wives between 2013 and 2016 using about R8,6 million of the Saps budget. These vehicles included Range Rover SUVs, five Audi SUVs and sedans, and two Land Rover Discovery SUVs.

In his justification of these purchases the minister said they were necessary to “provide comprehensive protection of VIP spouses”.

These types of purchases are not something Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan condones. He has previously advocated for modest purchases as a measure to save government money so that it can achieve its fiscal targets.

“The President decided to rather spend this gigantic amount on lavish VIP vehicles for his wives. South Africa’s economy is in a dire state. The economy is bleeding jobs, while President Zuma continues to bleed South Africans dry,” said Mbhele.

This was part of his response to Nhleko’s revelation, also stating that the amount could have been used to fund 116 university students for a year, or 38 students for the course of a three-year degree.

Additional sources: Business Tech, DA

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