- Parliament has approved a plan to pay former president Jacob Zuma his presidential salary as a yearly pension
- Zuma earned R2.98 million per year when he resigned in February, his wives will receive 50% of the pension upon his death
- The government will also be responsible for paying Zuma’s medical aid
Parliament has approved a plan to pay former president Jacob Zuma 100% of his presidential salary as an annual pension. Lawmakers additionally approved a plan to allow Zuma’s wives to receive 50% of the pension upon his death.
Zuma earned R2.98 million per year when he resigned from office in February. The state will also be responsible for the costs of Zuma’s medical aid and other benefits in addition to the usual presidential perks such as fulltime security protection.
Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers recommended last month that Zuma should receive 100% of his presidential salary and furthermore recommended that this amount should be linked to the salary of the current sitting president.
Briefly.co.za gathered that President Cyril Ramaphosa currently earns R3.6 million per year although he has promised to donate at least half of his annual income to charitable causes.
Predictably the increase was passed thanks mostly to the majority which the ANC enjoys in the National Assembly and drew sharp criticism from opposition parties such as the Democratic Alliance (DA), Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Cope and the Freedom Front Plus (FFP).
Citizen.co.za reported that the motion was passed by a number of 197 votes in favour and 95 votes against.
News24.com reported that the DA’s John Steenhuisen was particularly incensed by the increase. Steenhuisen said the people of South Africa had paid enough for Zuma.
Steenhuisen wondered why the ANC was willing to reward Zuma for his years of looting and corrupt behaviour by approving an increase in his pension.
The EFF’s Sam Matiase said Zuma did deserve the title of former head of state and should be called the former head-looter of state. He added that Zuma should not receive anything because he had only resigned once it became clear he would be impeached.
Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota said Zuma should not be entitled to benefits from the state because the Constitutional Court had found Zuma violated his oath of office.
The Freedom Front Plus suggested Zuma should receive a pension of R1 per year.
The IFP’s Narend Singh was one of the few opposition MPs to agree with the motion and said Parliament needed to be consistent in all matters. Singh said the state was paying pensions of those who walked the halls of power before 1994.
He added that if Zuma was found guilty of corruption or state looting he should be forced to repay the money to the state.
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