Columns 20.3.2014 08:00 am

Nkandla report no surprise

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report comes as no surprise.

She found that President Jacob Zuma “improperly benefited” from measures implemented “in the name of security”.

Madonsela called on President Zuma to pay back “a reasonable part” of the upgrades, and said Zuma “misled Parliament” but made an honest, “bona fide mistake”.

It all sounds like President Zuma got very carried away with building his dream home, and he must pay back all that he took from taxpayers.

Politicians play dirty so we must call a spade a spade. Zuma is not the first president to generously use taxpayers’ money for himself.

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has excelled in self-enrichment.

The most shocking thing would be for Zuma to own up to the money he misused and apologise to the people of South Africa for going overboard.

It is reported that Madonsela’s report states that “Zuma’s private architect earned R16.5 million from the Nkandla project”.

That is not only ridiculously too much, it is a sign that taxpayers’ money was used irresponsibly as well.

It is public knowledge that Nkandla was built using tax payers’ money. I am sure President Zuma will still strongly try and deny that he misused any funds for his own well-being.

This revelation will not stop many ANC supporters from voting for the party that brought the apartheid government to its knees. Not because there is no other party to vote for, but only out of habit, allegiance to the fallen ANC heroes and the hope that black economic empowerment will finally benefit them too.

President Zuma has a comfortable home in Nkandla that costs more than the needs of an entire community, and still some people will still believe all the political promises he will make about making people’s lives better.

There is so much suffering and poverty in South Africa; surely some of the money used to pay the architect alone could have fed hungry children for many years.

I am looking forward to President Zuma’s response to the findings in the Public Protector’s report. With all due respect, the president has taken money that does not belong to him.

 

01

today in print