What drew my attention to the results was how South Africa’s Jacob Zuma ranked fourth overall, his $223 500 a year package squeezing him between Angela Merkel and David Cameron.

But comparing nominal numbers can be like listing the earnings of someone running a branch office against those of his group’s CEO. A better reflection of taxpayer value is derived by comparing the leader’s salary with the size of the economy they run – how many dollars each President is paid for every $1bn of their nation’s Gross Domestic Product.
Easily the best value of those 12 leaders is Xi Jinping who gets a mere $2.12 a year for each $1bn of China’s GDP. The US’s Barack Obama is good value at $23.06.
Only two of the leaders are paid over $100 a year for each $1bn in GDP – Canadian Stephen Harper at $145.66 and then there’s Jacob Zuma whose pay is a staggering $638.15 a year for each $1bn of the SA economy. And that excludes the add-ons like stipends for his four wives and home improvements.

On a like-for-like basis, Zumacosts South African taxpayers 27 times what Americans pay for Obama; nine times Merkel; and a staggering 319 times more than Xi’s cost to Chinese taxpayers. Wouldn’t look so bad if the economy he is responsible for wasn’t also one of the worst performing.

 I came across some fascinating data compiled by global network news channel CNN.