WikiLeaks: US worried over bling-spending

2010-12-09 23:21

kalahari.com

  • Wikileaks
    WikiLeaks is the most challenging journalistic phenomenon to have emerged in the digital era. It... Now R229.00
    buy now
Johannesburg - The United States Consulate in Cape Town was concerned about the excessive spending by South African government ministers and senior officials on luxury cars, a cable released by WikiLeaks said.
 
"In August 2009, President Jacob Zuma stated that newly sworn-in ministers were thinking about the recession and no longer spending large amounts of public money on luxury cars.

"However, the spending spree continued throughout August and September leading to opposition parties raising the issue in Parliament and trade unions weighing in on the matter," it said.

The cable released by WikiLeaks was created in September 2009 but was only released on Wednesday, December 8 2010.

It said the global economic recession had unleashed a reappraisal of the role of state spending in the South African economy and the Zuma administration should be on the cutting edge of defining this role for South Africa.

Credibility problem


The WikiLeaks cable said Zuma's government had failed to cut down on expenditure and was facing a "credibility problem".

"On the one hand it advocates serving the needs of the poor and encouraging all South Africans to tighten their belts during the current economic crisis, while on the other it is allowing excessive spending of public money on personal luxuries," it said.

Former communications minister Siphiwe Nyanda and Higher Education Minister and SA Communist party leader Blade Nzimande were singled out by the Consulate as the two government officials with the most extravagant spending habits.

Nyanda, who purchased vehicles totalling several thousand rands, spent the most of anyone in the Cabinet, the WikiLeaks cables said.
 
However, Nzimande's vehicle purchase had evoked the most criticism as it highlighted the double standards at play in government.

The WikiLeaks cable said politically, the "car-gate" scandal had the ability to weaken the Zuma government and increase protests, as a loss of credibility had the potential to create a climate for instability, unrest and general lawlessness.

Smart power

However, in another WikiLeaks cable also released on Wednesday the US Embassy in Pretoria said Zuma had "weathered numerous storms" during recent years and he used several tactics of political survival that gave clues to his personality and leadership style.

"Throughout the most difficult times of the past few years, Zuma came across as reluctant to draw first blood, only displaying subtle determination to take the fight to his aggressors. This is consistent with a leader that is aware of his own strengths - smart power."

Recent cables released by WikiLeaks also focused on ANC Youth League president Julius Malema and former South African president Thabo Mbeki.

A WikiLeaks cable focusing specifically on Malema said it was becoming clearer that Zuma respected Malema and his place within the ANC movement despite his comments.

It said Malema was one of the most outspoken figures of the ruling party and had received more publicity from the news media in recent months than anyone else.

However, it had never been adequately answered whether Malema spoke on his own or with backing from senior leaders of the party.

A WikiLeaks cable titled "Thin-skinned Mbeki will require deft handling" released on Wednesday said US officials "raised caution flags" about statements made by Mbeki and about his ability to accept criticism and manage "collegially".

A message sent to the US administration from the embassy in Pretoria said: "He (Mbeki) has made it known to us that he would like to be invited to Washington before Nelson Mandela, whose global stature has something to do with Mbeki's occasional manifestations of a fragile ego.

"We support his request and hope Washington will be able to accommodate this brilliant, prickly leader of Africa's most important state," it said.

      

- SAPA

Read more on:    wikileaks  |  jacob zuma  |  blade nzimande  |  siphiwe nyanda  |  us

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
52 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Movies
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Table View - 16:27 PM
    Road name: Marine Drive Northbound
    DELAYS between Sunset Beach and Blaauwberg Road
  • Wednesday Bellville - 16:22 PM
    Road name: N1 Outbound
    DELAYS between Plattekloof Road and the Durban Road exit
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia N9

The Nokia N9 has a beautiful one-piece, unibody design where...

From R2899.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is always easier to look out and see what needs changing. Looking in is a lot harder... Today you may need to look at what...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.