President Jacob Zuma depended on a circle of South African businessmen and politicians to fund a lifestyle that vastly exceeded the means of his official salary, receiving payments exceeding eight million rand (€715,000), according to a leaked audit of his affairs.
The 490-page study, leaked to a South African newspaper, lays bare the scale of Mr Zuma's reliance on numerous benefactors – including Nelson Mandela, who sent him R1m (€90,000) – in the decade leading up to 2005 when he was sacked as deputy president.
Chief among the donors was Schabir Shaik, a Durban businessman, who served as his financial adviser and was sent to prison for paying Mr Zuma in return for favours.
The audit would have been part of the case against Mr Zuma had he stood trial for 16 counts of alleged corruption, fraud, tax evasion and racketeering.
All the charges were dropped shortly before he became president in 2009, so the case was never tested in court. (© Daily Telegraph, London)