South African taxpayers coughed up R988,112.79 for former president Jacob Zuma’s flights between February and November 2018 as well as cellphone, accommodation, and car rental expenses.
This was revealed in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s parliamentary response to a written question by Democratic Alliance (DA) Chief Whip John Steenhuisen, Timeslive reports.
Of the total figure, R150,668.38 was spent by the state for the former president’s flights from the day he resigned as president, February 14, to November 30, 2018.
For cellphone, accommodation, and car rental expenses, R837,444.41 was for the former president, his wives, and support staff between the same period.
The DA chief whip also inquired about the purpose of each trip Zuma took since stepping down.
Ramaphosa’s response was that since the former president no longer held public office, the purpose of Zuma’s trips was not a matter for the presidency.
Ramaphosa said that as a former president, Zuma was entitled to some benefits, which included a former president and their spouse being entitled to an unlimited number of trips on scheduled commercial domestic flights.
“The cost of these flights is borne by the presidency. Other relevant benefits include the provision of administrative support, cellphone expenses, and office equipment,” Ramaphosa was quoted as saying.
A few months after his resignation, Zuma was spotted flying economy class on a Kulula flight.