Former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils. File photo: Graeme Hosken

Johannesburg -

The “excessive secrecy” of President Jacob Zuma and government departments is worrying, former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils has said, according to Sunday's Rapport.

“There has certainly been an increase in secrecy since Jacob Zuma became president. It is extremely worrying,” he was quoted as saying.

“The public and any reasonable person understands that there are some state issues that cannot be published, but it should be the exception to the transparency rule, and it should be made clear why information is being withheld.”

The president and government departments have recently remained quiet about the details and cost of Zuma's recent trips to China

and Russia.

According to Rapport, in the last few months Zuma used a luxurious Boeing 727-200 to fly to America, Russia, China, and Australia because the official presidential jet, the Inkwazi, was being serviced.

According to the report, Zuma's trip to America in 2011 with the same jet cost taxpayers R6 million.

Zuma refused to say in Parliament what his trips abroad cost.

Kasrils said the increasing secrecy was absurd and that ministers were following the example Zuma set with secrecy around upgrades to his Nkandla homestead.

“If the highest authority is guilty of a lack of transparency, it will obviously open the floodgates,” he told Rapport. - Sapa