South Africans are wondering how serious President Jacob Zuma is about austerity after it emerged this week that the state had spent about 8.6m rand ($550,000; £374,000) on new cars for his wives over the past three years.
In response to a parliamentary question from the opposition this week, Police Minister Nathi Nhleko said the police had spent close to $230,000 alone on luxury cars for president Zuma’s four wives this year – despite a call for citizens to tighten their belts as South Africa’s economy struggles to meet growth targets.
He said a total 11 vehicles for Mr Zuma’s wives had been purchased out of the police budget:
- Four Range Rovers bought in 2013 for $60,000 each
- Two Land Rover Discovery worth $40,000 each bought in 2014
- Two Audi Q7s bought in March this year for $40,000
- And three Audi A6s also bought in March this year for $50,000 each.
Mr Nhleko, who is known for putting his head on the block for Mr Zuma, justified the purchases saying they were there “to provide comprehensive protection of VIP spouses”.
Read more: bbc