Cost of Jacob Zuma's holiday revealed

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma's recent holiday on a Mozambican island and that of his deputy, Kgalema Motlanthe, in the Seychelles, cost the taxpayer R2.6m, Beeld reported on Friday.

A Falcon 900 and two Oryx helicopters had to make 36 flights to take Zuma to Bazaruto and back.

This emerged from answers provided on Thursday by the defence ministry to written questions by Democratic Alliance MP David Maynier.

Advised to rest

Zuma took a break on Bazaruto earlier this year after his doctors advised him to rest.

Two Oryx helicopters from 15 Squadron flew from Durban to the Mozambican town Vilanculos to take Zuma to the island.

According to Beeld, every time the helicopters land to refuel, it counts as a new flight.

Zuma flew in a Falcon from Waterkloof Air Force Base to Vilanculos, where the helicopters took him and his bodyguards to the island.

Overall expenditure, including crew and staff allowances, amounted to R1.6m.

Motlanthe used the Falcon for the Seychelles break with a female friend and at least five bodyguards.

Motlanthe paid for his own accommodation, but taxpayers funded the crew and bodyguards which cost R512 000, with travel and subsistence expenses for staff costing over R130 000.

The agent who made arrangements that included the fuel, was paid R296 000.

Airline tickets cost R83 000.

Government policy

In March, Motlanthe defended the costs of his Seychelles holiday, saying that in line with government policy, transport for the president and deputy president was the responsibility of the state, regardless of whether it was for official or private purposes.

"The state also has a duty to provide security for the deputy president at all times, whether he is engaged in official duties, or while he is on leave.

"The deputy president has no role whatsoever in the planning and carrying out of operations concerning his own transport and security. These matters, including deployment of personnel and equipment, as well as related costs, are managed by the competent state organs," Motlanthe said in response to a question posed by Maynier at the time.

 

 

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