Pres­i­den­tial hand­book made pub­lic

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - CRAIG DODDS

THE PRES­I­DEN­TIAL hand­book that clar­i­fies the pro­vi­sions and pay­ment ar­range­ments for the sup­port and se­cu­rity of the pres­i­dent, his deputy and their fam­i­lies, was dis­closed for the first time yes­ter­day.

It fol­lows a court rul­ing last month giv­ing the Pres­i­dency un­til Mon­day to make the doc­u­ment pub­lic af­ter an ap­pli­ca­tion by AfriFo­rum to re­ports of hol­i­days taken by Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma and his for­mer deputy, Kgalema Mot­lanthe, cost­ing the state R1.6 mil­lion and R2m re­spec­tively.

AfriFo­rum’s ap­pli­ca­tion un­der the Pro­mo­tion of Ac­cess to In­for­ma­tion Act for a copy of the hand­book was later re­jected on the grounds it was still a “work in progress”.

Pri­vate pres­i­den­tial hol­i­days fell un­der a 2007 cab­i­net pol­icy, which was confidential, the gov­ern­ment said.

Judge Roland Suther­land ruled last month that perks en­joyed by the pres­i­dent and his deputy should be open to the pub­lic. An­nounc­ing the release of the hand­book yes­ter­day, the Pres­i­dency said it had been ap­proved by the cab­i­net at its meet­ing last week.

It pro­vided guide­lines for “the ad­min­is­tra­tive, lo­gis­ti­cal, se­cu­rity and gen­eral sup­port ser­vices to be ren­dered by the state to the pres­i­dent, his or her spouse and de­pen­dent chil­dren, and the deputy pres­i­dent and his or her spouse”.

It out­lined du­ties and lines of ac­count­abil­ity to gov­ern­ment staff re­spon­si­ble for th­ese ser­vices, and pro­vided the author­ity to make de­ci­sions on what was per­mit­ted.

The hand­book says travel of the pres­i­dent and deputy is the re­spon­si­bil­ity and for the ac­count of the state, and that they may in­vite guests as long as there is space for se­cu­rity, med­i­cal and pres­i­dency staff.

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