R54.6m spent on supporting Zuma's wives between 2009 and 2014 - Michael Cardo

DA MP says that allocations to Presidential Spousal Support Unit increased from R7.1m in 2012/13 to R13m in 2013/14

More public funds for President Zuma's private life

12 October 2014 

I will submit parliamentary questions asking for a detailed breakdown of all costs associated with the Presidential Spousal Support Unit.

This will help determine the extent to which President Zuma's costly private life is being funded by the public.

A report in today's Sunday Times reveals that taxpayers forked out R54.6 million to support President Zuma's wives between 2009 and 2014. 

At an average of R10.9 million per year, this figure is significantly higher than the annual amount spent on spousal support during President Thabo Mbeki's preceding term of office. 

The allocation to the Unit increased from R7.1 million in 2012/13 to R13 million in 2013/14.

Yet, along with these growing costs, there is a growing lack of transparency about how the funds are spent. The Annual Report of the Presidency has not contained any information on the outcomes and expenditure of the Spousal Support Unit since Zuma was first elected President.

The obvious inference is that the Presidency has something to hide. 

It would appear that the taxpayer is being increasingly tapped to finance the private life of an individual who - as evidenced by the Nkandla scandal - regards the public coffers as his personal piggy bank.

The latest revelations reinforce the need for a special presidential handbook to provide a strict regulatory framework for spending on the spousal office. 

The DA will continue to push for the long overdue finalization and publication of such a handbook.

In the meantime I will submit parliamentary questions to determine the full and specific nature of all state-sponsored benefits provided to both the spouses and children of the President.

Statement issued by Dr Michael Cardo MP, DA Shadow Deputy Minister in the Presidency, October 12 2014

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