Jacob Zuma is the former and fourth president of South Africa, a position which he held between 2009 and 2018 before handing over power to Cyril Ramaphosa.
Among the many things that Jacob Zuma is known for is that he loves to live a large life. He loves to marry many women, lead a big family, live in opulent mansions and drive expensive cars.
This article looks at Jacob Zuma’s houses and cars that were at the centre of some of the most controversial moments of the former head of state’s rule.
Read also: Inside the Zuma-Bongekile wedding.
Jacob Zuma’s house in Nkandla
Jacob Zuma’s house also referred to as the Nkandla homestead is located a few kilometres South of the rural town of Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal. The house sits on a huge compound on land that is owned by the Ingonyama Trust.
The construction of this house began in 2009 and it is estimated to have cost about R 246 million of taxpayers' money.
Jacob Zuma’s house in Nkandla has over time gained public attention and it has been the centre of one of the biggest controversies surrounding the former head of state.
Among other top features, Jacob Zuma’s house in Nkandla has a helipad, a visitors' centre, a fire pool, a private military hospital, a cattle kraal, a chicken run, amphitheatre and a massive parking lot just to name a few.
Between 2011 and 2012 there was a public outcry followed by complaints to the Public Protector after the amount of public monies that were used in Zuma’s residences emerged.
While investigations that were published by Mail & Guardian in 2013 indicated that the former head of state had indeed misused state funds in the house renovations, the state through the public work minister justified the public expenditure and cleared Jacob Zuma’s name.
Read also: Meet Cyril Ramaphosa’s children.
Jacob Zuma’s house in Dubai
Besides his Nkandla residence, Jacob Zuma also has another mansion in one of the most expensive cities in the world- Dubai.
According to Sunday Times, Jacob Zuma’s Dubai house is located on Lailak Street in Emirates Hills and is in the neighbourhood of the late Robert Mugabe’s house. It is also reported that this multi-million mansion was gifted to Zuma by the infamous Gupta brothers as a retirement present sometime in 2015.
Jacob Zuma’s house in Dubai is huge, it has plenty of rooms including ten bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, and nine reception rooms that are all furnished with some top-of-the-range features including marble and gold.
Outside the house, there is a large parking space for at least eleven cars and a swimming pool that is bigger than the Nkandla fire pool.
According to sources close to the former president, the palatial retirement home reportedly cost about R330 million, although it has not been verified.
Zuma house in Johannesburg
The former president also had another grand house in Forest Town, an upscale suburb in Johannesburg.
The Forest Townhouse was reportedly purchased at a whopping R3.6 million in 2005 under a Zuma-linked company called Hola Recruitment & Selection Services.
In 2018, the house was reportedly put up for sale at a listed price of R6.5m. It's unclear if the property eventually found a new owner.
Jacob Zuma’s cars
Along with living in big mansions, Jacob Zuma also drives big cars that only those who have ever held the most powerful seat in the country can afford.
In addition to his own fleet of expensive motorcades, Jacob Zuma also bought expensive cars for his wives during his regime including four Range Rovers, two Land Rover Discovery, two Audi Q7s and three Audi A6s.
Like the construction of his Nkandla homestead, the extravagant purchase of expensive cars for Jacob Zuma’s house also received a wide backlash from the public.