JOHANNESBURG, (Reuters) – South African President Jacob Zuma yesterday ordered a review of spending on cars for his four wives following a public outcry when the government said it cost 8.6 million rand ($554,000) to buy the vehicles over a three-year period.
It was not immediately clear whether the purchase of further luxury cars, which currently include a Range Rover, a Land Rover and Audi sedans, would be cut back, but opposition parties said it was a political ploy ahead of local elections.
Zuma’s ruling African National Congress (ANC), which has backed him after numerous scandals, faces a tough battle at local polls on Aug. 3, with opponents blaming the president for the low economic growth.
The main opposition party, Democratic Alliance, said in a statement that Zuma should specify a timeline for the proposed review, which it said was meant to score political points.
Presidential spokesman Bongani Ngqulunga said the review was triggered by “a very difficult economic climate. Elections or no elections.”