People: Mandela outraged at presidential servants' salaries

OUTRAGED to learn that some of his household staff earn only 850 rand a month - about pounds 150 - Nelson Mandela has promised them a pay rise. 'I can't lead a government where people live like slaves,' the South African President said in a speech on Monday.

Mr Mandela said he asked about staff salaries at the presidential residence in Pretoria and 'I could not believe what I heard.' At least 16 workers earned R850 a month, including a woman with five children who had worked at the presidential mansion for 23 years. 'This is a matter which cannot continue,' he said.

The minimum wage for domestic workers in South Africa is R400 a month, although many farm labourers make less than that. The country's average monthly wage is about R1,200, a figure that obscures the vast gap in pay between blacks and whites. Whites generally earn at least five times as much as blacks.

Mr Mandela, whose monthly pay and perks total R62,500, is sensitive to the growing criticism about salaries. Some members of his well-heeled white audience on Monday night, may not be, however. Although they nodded and applauded his comments, few among them were thought to pay their own maids much more than the President's employees earn.

WAS Gulbuddin Hekmatyar seriously wounded in a recent air attack? The Afghan news agency Bakhtar says he was, but television viewers will have to make up their own minds. The leader of the Hizbe Islami faction was seen on local television late on Wednesday, pictured from the waist up and seated at a desk, with no obvious signs of serious head injuries or paralysis of the tongue as reported earlier by Bakhtar.

Abdul Ali Mazari, leader of the Hezb-i-Wahdat faction, which is allied with Mr Hekmatyar, denied any injury to the opposition leader in the attack by government planes last Friday.

'Absolutely not. He was not wounded at all,' Mr Mazari said.

A Bakhtar spokesman, while admitting Mr Hekmatyar was 'not badly wounded' after all, nevertheless insisted that he was hit in the leg by shrapnel, and speculated that was why he was shown seated while on television.

According to Mr Mazari, Mr Hekmatyar made no direct reference to being wounded, but had agreed to appear on television in answer to state 'propaganda'.

A GERMAN politician has managed to gain a lot of exposure in the run-up to the federal elections in October. Thomas Krueger has plastered Berlin with campaign posters of himself in the nude, bearing the slogan: 'An honest politician with nothing to hide.' Mr Krueger, a Berlin minister for youth and family, kicked off his campaign for a seat in parliament on Wednesday standing beside a life-size poster of himself wearing nothing but his beard. He is a member of the opposition Social Democrats, the SPD.

(Photograph omitted)

Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Senior Research Fellow in Gender, Food and Resilient Communities

£47,334 - £59,058 per annum: Coventry University: The Centre for Agroecology, ...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker