Friday, April 17, 2015

The Gravy Train

A storm is brewing over the acquisition of new VIP jets for President Jacob Zuma and his Cabinet at a cost of R2 billion, just after Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene announced revised spending plans to reduce waste. Three new VIP jets - a Boeing Business Jet and two new Falcon 900 Business Jets - were being acquired for "international commitments" as the president's international obligations have increased dramatically. The Boeing Business Jet was expected to cost R600 million second-hand, which was reportedly seen as a bargain. However, the money to be spent on the new jets was originally earmarked to buy crucial freight carriers for aging military cargo planes.

The Zulu monarchy is set to issue six new Mercedes Benz E-Class sedans, collectively worth nearly R5 million, to the King’s six wives. A seventh luxury German sedan has reportedly been purchased and will be kept as a “back-up”. King Goodwill Zwelithini's household is supported by the provincial government, with an annual pay-in of nearly R60 million. The management of money by the Zulu Royal Household Trust raised concerns last year when the allotted R54.2 million was spent before the end of the financial year. This prompted a R5 million bailout in February. Former Zulu Royal Household Trust chair Jerome Ngwenya said the queens had chosen to travel in Mercedes Benzes for a number of reasons. “The cars befit the status of the Zulu royal family”

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