Zuma wives may lose out
THE ANC in the Eastern Cape wants the government to withdraw its support of President Jacob Zuma's younger wives.
The province is proposing that only Zuma's first wife Sizakhele Khumalo should receive state benefits.
The president's wives are entitled to personal support staff, domestic air travel and accommodation as well as international air travel and accommodation, cellphone allowances and secretaries.
The proposal was discussed at the party's provincial general council in preparation for the national policy conference due to take place in Midrand next week.
Although the PGC could not adopt the proposals, three delegates who were part of the meeting yesterday said that people who deliberated on the matter felt strongly about it.
"We supported it, and if anyone for any reason suppresses some of our recommendations there are channels to take the proposal forward," said the source.
"What was made clear during the discussions was that, as taxpayers, we cannot afford to continue financing so many wives.
"Only wife number one should get benefits from the state.
"Our understanding is that when a man decides to have more than one wife, you are able to support the others. Then deal with it."
Another source said the issue was first raised by a member of the veteran's league, saying the spousal benefits for the president's wives should be reconsidered.
"The discussion was if a man has more than one wife, the state should afford only one and the rest should be the responsibility of that man," said the source, who did not want to be named, adding that the issue was important to the aspect of organisational renewal.
Zuma is married to Khumalo, Nompumelelo Ntuli, Stacey Thobeka Mabhija and Bongi Ngema.
Zuma has so far taken each of them with during state visits abroad and official engagements in the country.
The proposal can only be tabled at next week's national conference in Midrand if it receives support at Friday's a special PEC meeting which would look into the reports from various commissions.
The commissions did not give feedback to plenary on Monday, denying the conference the right to adopt proposals as provincial policy recommendations.
ANC provincial spokesman Mlibo Qoboshiyane cited time constraints as the reason for the conference not going into plenary sessions. - email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org