Former South African President Jacob Zuma has acquired a new private jet, adding to his already luxurious lifestyle. The jet, an Airbus A330-200, has been dubbed the “Inkwazi” (Fish Eagle) and is said to have cost around R2.3 billion ($165 million USD).
The Features of the Jet
The Airbus A330-200 is a wide-body twin-engine jet that can accommodate up to 300 passengers. However, Zuma’s jet has been customized to include a bedroom, bathroom, conference room, and a lounge area. The jet is also equipped with a satellite phone, a wifi connection, and a high-tech entertainment system.
The exterior of the jet has been painted in the South African flag colors of blue, red, and white, with the national emblem on the tail. The interior is decorated with luxurious finishes, including leather seats and wood paneling.
Controversy Surrounding the Purchase
The purchase of the new private jet has sparked controversy, as many South Africans feel that the money could have been better spent on education, healthcare, and other social services. Zuma has been accused of corruption and mismanagement during his tenure as president, and many feel that this purchase is just another example of his lavish spending.
In response to the criticism, Zuma has defended the purchase, stating that the jet is necessary for him to carry out his duties as a former president, including attending international conferences and meetings.
Zuma’s History with Private Jets
This is not the first private jet that Zuma has owned. In 2016, he was criticized for using a private jet owned by the Gupta family, a wealthy Indian family with close ties to Zuma’s administration. The Gupta family has been accused of using their connections to Zuma to influence government contracts and appointments.
Zuma has also been criticized for using taxpayer money to fund his private flights, including a trip to Russia in 2015 that cost over R7 million ($500,000 USD). The trip was criticized for being unnecessary and extravagant.
The purchase of Zuma’s new private jet has caused controversy and criticism in South Africa. While some argue that the jet is necessary for him to perform his duties as a former president, many feel that the money could have been better spent on social services. Zuma’s history with private jets and his ties to wealthy families have only added to the controversy surrounding the purchase.