Thursday, February 04, 2010

Is Zuma's Kid on State Handouts?

The presidency on Thursday refused to disclose whether President Jacob Zuma's love child with Irvin Khoza's daughter would qualify for any state-sponsored benefits.

"If you are asking that question, you are taking it too far," said presidential spokesperson Zizi Kodwa.

"The president has no duty to disclose. We can have no doubt that he has fulfilled his responsibility. There is a birth certificate at Home Affairs that registered the father as Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma."

Kodwa said it was up to Zuma to decide whether he would recognise his four-month-old daughter with Sonono Khoza as a dependent for the purpose of membership of the PARMED Medical Aid Scheme, towards which the state makes a two-thirds tariff contribution.

'The president has no duty to disclose'
"The president may have more than one policy, he may have three. It is his decision. We don't know that. Why must we be concerned?"

In terms of the handbook for members of the executive, children of members qualify for transport to school and for up to six free domestic flights a year, although the state does not cover their school fees.

The cost of Zuma's extended household has been the subject of speculation, increasingly so since he married again last year, bringing the number of first ladies to three.

His wives qualify for medical aid and travel benefits.

The same rules that apply to spouses also apply to what the handbook terms "permanent companions".

Zuma on Wednesday admitted that he had an extra-marital relationship with Khoza and fathered a child with her last year.

He complained that the newspaper expose of the affair had unfairly subjected those involved "to harsh media exposure merely because of the position I occupy". - Sapa

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