South Africa 7.8.2018 11:53 am

Zuma and his friends ate our cows, poor farmers allege

Cows meant to be given to emerging farmers instead filled the stomachs of a politically connected few, according to a report.

Former president Jacob Zuma, a supposed friend of the poor, allegedly feasted on cattle meant to be given to emerging, poor farmers.

The Sunday Times reported that scores of cattle that were transported to Zuma were then distributed to politicians and kings – with the times of distribution often coinciding with big ceremonies and church events.

In 2008, the OR Tambo Local District Municipality in the Eastern Cape purchased 1 800 cows as part of an upliftment programme for emerging farmers in surrounding areas, and these were meant to proliferate into 10 000 cattle, but, as the Times reports, only about 800 remain – a few years and a couple of ceremonies later.

These cows were bought with money taken from the public purse.

According to the Sunday paper, former OR Tambo mayor Zoleka Capa this week admitted to giving cows to Jacob Zuma and even securing some for herself, but she pointed out that she took them to later hand out to community members.

The paper’s sources corroborated this admission, saying prized cattle were transported to Zuma’s Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal, and others to Willowvale, Eastern Cape, which Zuma then allegedly handed out to traditional leaders.

A herdsman claims that, in 2009, cattle arrived in Nkandla, and in 2014, another herd was delivered there in exchange for Nguni cattle that were meant to be taken from the homestead to farms in Kokstad. Instead, according to some staff, they ended up in Capa’s farm in Mkhambati.

The paper reported that cows were sent to a church ceremony in an area around the former Transkei homeland, which Zuma reportedly attended; some were slaughtered to celebrate the ANC’s 2009 election victory, and others given to former King Sabata Dalinyebo and Capa’s husband Ndumiso Capa.

The former mayor has denied personally benefiting from the cattle, as they were meant for the benefit of the community. Capa, a known Zuma ally, now chairs parliament’s portfolio committee on social development.

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