Zuma's family sends budget rocketing The budget for spousal office in the presidency has almost doubled since President Jacob Zuma took office, and his 20 children are collectively entitled to 60 flights a year. In a written reply to a question by the DA, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said the spousal office's budget was at R4 million in the 2005/06 financial year, but now stood at R15 517 500 after an "adjustment in October 2009". The budget almost doubled in 2006/7 to R7.6m, increased slightly to R8,4m in 2007/8 and decreased a little to R8 076 709 in 2008/9. Kgalema Motlanthe was president in the 2008/9 financial year and has always refused to let his spouse to be part of public engagements, which could explain a slight decrease during this period. However, when Zuma - who has three wives and a fiance - took over last year, the budget was adjusted and increased from R8m to R15,5m. Chabane said some of the expenses in the spousal office include personal support staff - a secretary and researcher - domestic air travel and accommodation, and international air travel and accommodation for official visits abroad approved by the president. Expenses covered for the spouses include "cellular phones for spouses and their secretaries, equipment such as laptops and printers, and special daily allowance for incidental expenses during official journeys". Chabane said although the spouses had no constitutionally defined roles, obligations or responsibilities, they were expected to provide support to the president and the republic. "The state provides all reasonable administrative, logistical and other support to the spouses to enable them to meet these responsibilities in a manner that permits them actively to pursue their own careers and interests if they so desire. "The state also may provide reasonable logistical support to the spouses to assist with the day-to-day logistical arrangements of dependent, schoolgoing children in the household. "Staff are employed or deployed by the presidency to provide this support. This includes a private secretary for personal support and a researcher to assist in co-ordinating the necessary projects or activities of the spouses which are in support of the government's programme of action. "The Presidency also provides office administration requirements to the spouses to enable them to fulfil activities related to their state or official functions." Chabane repeated the Presidency's statement on the social-responsibility work of Zuma's wives. "The spouses of the president are currently engaged in community work related to health (Mrs Thobeka Madiba-Zuma), agriculture and food security (Mrs Sizakele 'MaKhumalo' Zuma), as well as care and support to orphans and vulnerable children (Mrs Nompumelelo 'MaNtuli' Zuma)." The expenses policy for children, according to the Presidency, "applies to children of the president regardless of the marital status of the child's parents". Zuma has 20 children, and recently fathered a baby with Sonono Khoza, the daughter of soccer supremo Irvin Khoza. Using the ministerial handbook to explain the children's benefits, Chabane said the dependent children "may collectively utilise up to 60 single domestic economy class flights per annum to visit and reunite with their parents within the country at the cost of the Presidency". "This figure is regardless of the total number of qualifying children. Travel costs beyond the allotted tickets are to be borne by the president," Chabane said. He said children under eight were entitled to be escorted by their child minder. "The child minder's tickets are subtracted from the 60 allocated to the children." The Presidency has failed to provide answers and figures to the DA's question on the breakdown of expenses on the president's children and spouses since he took office. ======================================================== Wife's sex scandal rocks Zuma Angry SA president calls for family summit after reports that second wife is pregnant by bodyguard Jun 6, 2010 12:00 AM | By DOMINIC MAHLANGU and MZILIKAZI WA AFRIKA A furious South African President Jacob Zuma has called an urgent family meeting at his family homestead in Nkandla, in rural KwaZulu-Natal, this weekend to deal with a letter that alleges infidelity by his second wife, Nompumelelo Ntuli. STATE VISIT: Jacob Zuma and his second wife, Nompumelelo Ntuli, place a wreath at the Mahatma Gandhi memorial in New Delhi this week during a state visit to India Picture: REUTERS On Thursday, the Durban newspaper Ilanga reported that it had received a letter from "concerned family members" in which MaNtuli is accused of cheating on the president with her bodyguard, Phinda Thomo, who reportedly committed suicide earlier this year. Recent media reports have suggested that MaNtuli, who has two children, is pregnant again - and the paternity of the unborn child is being questioned by the "concerned family members". The letter reads: "... what is the mystery now and talked about by the family is whose child is it that she is carrying. Is it ubaba's (Zuma's) child or the ex-private bodyguard?" The letter says that MaNtuli became pregnant when she and Zuma "were apart and not talking to each other". Zuma, 68, returned last night from an official trip to India with MaNtuli, 35. The Presidency released a statement on Friday saying Zuma would not dignify "gossip" with a response. The statement reads: "The Presidency has noted with great concern reports that violate the privacy of President Jacob Zuma and his wife, Mrs Nompumelelo Zuma. The reports appear to be part of an ongoing and malicious campaign to undermine the right of the president and his family to privacy and dignity." The president's businessman nephew, Khulubuse Zuma, denied that the letter was written by members of the family. "It is particularly shameful and alarming that the president's political enemies have now taken to masquerading as members of his family to spread malicious innuendo about him and his family," he said. He said that the family "is united" in distancing itself from the letter. But, according to insiders, an angry Zuma wants answers from members of his family and has convened an urgent meeting for late on Sunday or on Monday, at which the allegations will be discussed. "The president is deeply concerned about these allegations," said an insider. "That is why the intelligence (services) and the police are now on this matter. "He wants to know about the letter and how it ended up in the press." The latest controversy is further evidence that not all is well in the president's polygamous family. The first signs of a fissure emerged soon after Zuma's election as president, when MaNtuli and Zuma's third wife, Thobeka Madiba, were caught on camera shoving each other in what appeared to be a fight over who should stand next to him. When Zuma married KaMadiba, in January, MaNtuli was conspicuous by her absence. The letter alleges that she has had run-ins with the president's first wife, Sizakele Khumalo, and that their conflict resulted in MaNtuli moving out of the homestead in Nkandla and settling in Durban. "We, as family, truly believe that ubaba made the biggest mistake of his life by taking MaNtuli as his second wife," the authors of the letter write. "As the family, we are all shocked because we don't know her ... We do feel embarrassed to be associated with somebody like MaNtuli and feel sorry for ubaba, who has to live with her for the rest of his life." It was reported that MaNtuli paid a fine of a goat in April this year as a punishment for her alleged cheating. Meanwhile, the Sunday Times has established that a top South African actor's previous relationship with MaNtuli has come back to haunt her. Although the two were an item before she became involved with Zuma, the married actor has confirmed that they have a child together - although this is something he has yet to tell his wife. Earlier this year, Zuma was embroiled in controversy when the Sunday Times revealed that he had fathered an illegitimate child with a daughter of South African soccer boss Irvin Khoza.