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Zuma’s R2,8m salary approved despite fierce objections

The National Assembly today approved a 4.4 percent increase.

FILE: A screen grab of President Jacob Zuma laughs in Parliament as leader of DA Parliamentary leader, Mmusi Maimane, addresses the house during the State of the Nation Address debate in Cape Town on 17 February 2015. Picture: YouTube.

CAPE TOWN - The National Assembly has approved President Jacob Zuma's annual salary of R2.8 million, despite objections from several opposition parties in the House this afternoon.

The Democratic Alliance (DA), Economic Freedom Fighters, Congress of the People (Cope) and African Christian Democratic Party all objected to the African National Congress's motion to increase the president's salary by 4.4 percent.

They argued that Zuma didn't deserve a salary hike because of the damage he's caused to the currency and to the economy by reshuffling finance ministers in December, and for his handling of the Nkandla spending debacle.

Cope's Deidre Carter told the National Assembly that the president is not deserving of a salary increase.

"As more solid information emerges, the firing of Minister Nene and the hiring of his MK comrade, Minister van Rooyen it would seem appropriate for the president to approach the Guptas for an increase."

DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen objected to the increase.

"The truth of the matter is that with Nkandla the President of the Republic of South Africa drove over us all with a bus; in December last year, he put the bus in reverse and reversed over all of us including his own ANC caucus... he then crashes the bus and comes cap in hand to the taxpayers of South Africa and says 'I've done a great job, give me a raise.'"

When put to a vote, 172 MPs supported the salary increase; 81 objected.

There were two abstentions.