There were 81 officers from the police’s Presidential Protection Unit for every one of the 17 politicians it protected full-time in 2017/18.
National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sithole revealed in a parliamentary reply on July 3 that there were 1‚382 officers in this unit‚ which cost taxpayers R693-million in 2017/18.
According to the police’s 2016/17 annual report, there was one police officer for every 369 South Africans.
In a parliamentary reply last year‚ then police minister Fikile Mbalula confirmed that in 2016/17 the PPU protected among others then president Jacob Zuma‚ his deputy at the time and now president‚ Cyril Ramaphosa‚ former presidents FW de Klerk‚ Thabo Mbeki‚ and Kgalema Motlanthe‚ Zuma’s four wives and Ramaphosa’s wife.
Mbalula said the PPU also protected 77 foreign dignitaries.
“The reasons for protection are based on the outcome of individual threat assessments‚” he said at the time.
In 2016/17‚ 1‚369 officers cost taxpayers R617-million and in 2015/16‚ 1‚162 officers cost R618-million. DA spokesperson on police Zakhele Mbhele said: “This is a blatant example of how the lives of the elite matter more to the ANC government than ordinary citizens lives.”
He added: “While current and former heads of state and their spouses are safely protected‚ millions of South Africans live in constant fear of being the next victims of violent crime in our country.”