A total of about R9 million has been used by President Jacob Zuma to buy luxury cars for his wives between 2013 and 2016, said Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko on Tuesday.
Nhleko said ten vehicles were bought with the budget of the police department. Vehicles purchased for Zuma’s wives included Range Rover SUVs‚ two Land Rover Discovery SUVs and five Audi SUVs and sedans.
The Minister uttered this as he was replying to a parliamentary question asked by Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Member of Parliament Zakhele Mbhele.
In response to the question, Nhleko said the purchases were necessary “to provide comprehensive protection of VIP spouses”.
While South Africa’s first ladies prefer to travel in luxury, Cabinet ministers themselves have been requested to purchase modest luxury vehicles by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, as part of a general belt-tightening required by government in order for it to achieve its fiscal consolidation targets.
Mbhele was critical of the purchases, saying the R9 million could have funded 116 university students for a year and could also have been used to hire an additional 61 police officers for a year.