A popular African president has come under fire after it was revealed that he spent a whopping N108 to buy 11 luxury cars for his four wives.
South African President Jacob Zuma flanked by his wife Gloria Bongekile Ngema Zuma stands for the National Anthem
South African President, Jacob Zuma has come under fire after it was revealed £370,000 (N108m) of state funding was splashed on 11 cars for his four wives.
The father of 22 children is understood to have used state funds to buy his wives luxury cars, which included two Land Rover Discoveries, two Audi Q7s, three Audi A6s and four Range Rovers.
The shocking findings were revealed by a parliamentary question to the police ministry just as Zuma appeals against a court ruling that corruption charges against him should be reinstated.
Last month Mr Zuma was ordered to pay back some of the £15million of public cash he used to spend on adding a swimming pool and visitor’s centre to his country home.
He was criticised over the building work at his Nkandla home, situated in his native province of KwaZulu-Natal, but insisted it was required as new security measures.
The luxury features were defended by Zuma, who said the swimming pool was necessary to fight fires and the amphitheater prevented soil erosion.
Zuma, who has been subject to more than 700 fraud investigations during his political career, began work on his sprawling family home three years ago.
The property, which is surrounded by two perimeter fences, already includes helipads, underground rooms and multiple properties for the polygamist’s huge family.
In a televised address to the nation in March, Mr Zuma apologised and said he would pay back some of the money spent on the property, as ordered.
‘I wish to emphasise that I never knowingly or deliberately set out to violate the constitution,‘ Zuma said.
‘Any action that has been found not to be in keeping with the constitution happened because of a different approach and different legal advice,’ he said, before issuing an apology for the ‘frustration and confusion’ caused by the scandal.
However opposition parties have continued to call for the President to step down following the corruption scandals.
‘The president is misleading South Africa. He said repeatedly he always wanted to pay. He never wanted to pay,’ Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane said.
The President’s spending was also questioned earlier this month when it emerged a second luxury jet was requested for Mr Zuma by his defence minister.
Zuma’s current jet is understood to be in good condition with low mileage, raising questions as to why it needed replacing.
President Jacob Zuma is appealing against a court ruling that corruption charges against him should be reinstated, his office said.
‘The President believes that the decision of the Court affects him directly and is of a strong view that the Court erred in several respects in its decision,’ it said in a statement released late on Monday.
The Pretoria High Court last month ordered a review of a 2009 decision by the National Prosecuting Authority to set aside hundreds of charges against Zuma, terming it ‘irrational’.
Zuma’s office said the court made a mistake in saying the National Director of Public Prosecutions was not entitled to terminate a prosecution on the basis of misconduct and abuse of the process.
‘President Zuma believes that the appeal raises important issues of law and fact and also believes that the appeal has reasonable prospects of success,’ the Presidency said.
The National Prosecuting Authority said earlier on Monday it would also appeal the Pretoria court ruling, which could have lead to 783 corruption charges being reinstated against Zuma.
The charges, relating to a multi-billion dollar arms deal, were dropped in 2009, clearing the way for Zuma to be elected president just weeks later.
At the time, state prosecutors justified dropping the case by saying that tapped phone calls between officials in then-president Thabo Mbeki’s administration showed undue interference.
But the Pretoria High Court last month dismissed the decision to discontinue the charges as ‘irrational’ and said it should be reviewed by the NPA.
‘The judgement affects… the discretionary powers of the prosecutor,’ Abrahams told a press conference on Monday. ‘It is so important that I believe it needs a decision of an appeal court.’