These are the benefits Zuma can expect to receive if he resigns as president
As South Africa awaits an announcement on the timing of Jacob Zuma stepping down as president of the country, questions will once again be raised as to what benefits and special rights he will be entitled to receive as a former head of state.
Many believe Zuma’s departure is imminent following the SONA postponement – and indeed new president of the ANC, Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement on Wednesday: “We will be able to communicate further on president Zuma’s position as president of the Republic once we have finalised all pertinent matters.
“I am aware that the uncertainty surrounding the position of the Head of State and Government is a cause for concern among many South Africans. This is understandable,” Ramaphosa said.
Speaking to BusinessTech, Dr David Monyae a politics expert and co-director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Johannesburg said that the ANC would need to tread carefully in how it plans to deal with Zuma’s exit as it would almost certainly set a precedent for future South African politics.
“I think what we are seeing are the effects of a Constitutional democracy,” said Monyae.
“While it can be very easy to say that politically he must go, they (ANC) don’t want to create a precedent for how similar events may unfold in the future. They will have to act not only in their own interests but in the best interests of the country,” he said.
Monyae said that a similar principal would have to be applied to any benefits that the president receives should he announce his resignation.
“He would be a citizen like you and I, and should he commit a crime he should not be seen to be above the law,” said Monyae.
“Based on what we know surrounding the alleged corruption and his proposed resignation, I would like to believe that the same standards will be be held in that regard,” he said.
There are some benefits that Zuma can expect that are given to all former state presidents in South Africa, said Monyae.
- Personal security for himself, wife and his immediate family. This will include physical security such as bodyguards as well as a motorcade based on an assessment of his security requirements. However the security details will be notably smaller than what he is currently afforded.
- A home which the State contributes to fully or partially – based on Zuma’s security requirements.
- Health insurance, including treatment at military hospitals, as well as the care and respect one would typically give to a former head of state.
- A mandated salary (approved at R2.87 million in 2016) with any increases as stipulated in government gazettes.
- An indirect line to government if the state decides to utilise his services for diplomatic functions such as peace, ceremonies, or as a representative of the state. The extent of these additional roles will be at the discretion of the incumbent president.