South Africa 1.4.2014 06:00 am

Focus on the corruption, not Zuma says Blade

Blade Nzimande. File Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Blade Nzimande. File Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Instead of blaming President Jacob Zuma for something he is actually not responsible for, all South Africans should close ranks and focus on dealing with corruption, SA Communist Party (SACP) general secretary Blade Nzimande said yesterday.

Responding to the Nkandla debacle during an interview on Power FM, Nzimande said the matter was an embarrassment to the whole nation.

He accused the media, with a few exceptions, of wanting to blame Zuma, and in the process failing to inform the public
about processes that have been followed in dealing with corrupt activity.

“No single media has said let’s see what government has done with regards to corruption,” said Nzimande.

“We are missing the point on Nkandla, and the heart of the matter is how do you deal with collusion between public officials, private companies and corporations, swindling the state and taxpayers.”

Pressure has been mounting on Zuma to implement the recommendations made by Madonsela in her report.

But Nzimande said Madonsela was running the risk of discrediting her office completely.

“You must remember that the office is larger than the individual who actually makes it.

“Firstly, the Public Protector reports to Parliament; and there is no report before Parliament at this point in time,” Nzimande said.

He also took a swipe at the Democratic Alliance and other opposition parties, saying they were being opportunistic.

“As far as we are concerned, they have no issue to go and convince the electorate to say that Parliament must be convened on the basis of a report that is not before Parliament.

“It is electioneering; and it is unfortunate, in our view as the SACP, because there are people who are in such a hurry to discredit the ANC as the ruling party,” he said.

Asked what his take was on what has so far been said by some senior ANC officials, Nzimande suggested that some within the party’s leadership were in denial when it came to dealing with the Nkandla report.

“That there was abuse of money, there’s no question about that.

“The investigation, we hope, will tell us about the nature and scale of that.”

He said he did not believe that Zuma was not feeling outraged about the report.

“I know that one of the reasons the president appointed the team of ministers, Thulas Nxesi and his deputy Jeremy Cronin, was to clean up public works and people have been fired already.

“So there is a massive investigation authorised by the president going on,” Nzimande said.

 

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