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Friday, 29 May 2015

South Africa's White(washed) House

In 2012 the story broke that the president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, had used R246 million of taxpayer money to build himself a palace. It was alleged that the money spent had been on security upgrades required to protect the president and that the upgrades were not yet complete. These security upgrades included the following:

  1. Swimming Fire pool;
  2. Cattle kraal;
  3. Chicken run;
  4. Amphitheater;
  5. Tuck shop;
  6. Soccer pitch;
  7. Helipad;
  8. Visitors centre; 
  9. Underground bunkers; and
  10. At least 31 brand new buildings.
Taken from the Public Protectors report on Nkandla (source)
For almost 3 years the logically minded and law-abiding citizens of South Africa have been asking the question of how in the world public funds were allowed to be used to fund 1 man's private residence.

At first we were thwarted when they labelled a private residence as a National Key-point which makes the building subject to blanket secrecy and media blackout. However, the size of the story was just to massive and there was no way that they could keep us quiet. The story just continues to grow as it was investigated (The Mail and Guardian have a lovely resource page covering every aspect of the story of the decade.) It was even big enough to cause outcry in the UK where the Daily Mail ran a story about how the president of South Africa used the £17.5 million to build his own palace. It was announced not long afterwards that the UK would be withdrawing its £19 million in annual direct aid to South Africa. There was quite an outcry from South African officials who said that relations between the 2 countries would be affected should the UK withdraw aid. (things would just not be the same unless the poor African dears were not crying about their freebies from the west now would they?)

Now, just to give you some background on the president:
  1. He has a grade 3 education;
  2. He was a high ranking member of Umkhonto we sizwe, terrorist militant wing of the ANC and was trained in the Soviet Union;
  3. He is a communist;
  4. He has 4 current wives (6 in total - 1 divorced and 1 dead);
  5. He is a convicted criminal having served 10 years on Robben Island;
  6. He has over 700 corruption and fraud charges hanging over his head ;
  7. He was tried for rape;
  8. He has had multiple affairs outside of his marriages;
  9. He has 21 children at last count; and
  10. He has been a dismal failure as president blaming everything from loadshedding to xenophobic violence and crime on white people.
Now that you have a better idea of just who the people voted in as their president (and consequently a better understanding of the intelligence levels of the South African majority) lets get back to today's post...

Following the media explosion and failed attempts to shut them up, we were met with the fact that the Public Protector would be allowed to investigate the matter (after she had received thousands of complaints). After many months of delays and fights to get information out of the ANC cronies at the top, we were finally presented with a somewhat whitewashed report - Zuma had indeed benefited but had not acted improperly. It was recommended that Zuma repay a portion of the money used on non-security upgrades. The exact amount would be determined by the Minister of Police. 

Now, Zuma has said that he never asked for the upgrades, was not aware that they were happening, was not aware of the expenses involved and indeed did not even like them... I know the man is a complete imbecile at times, but really now... how stupid and oblivious do you have to be to not notice the extensive renovations happening at your own home and not question why or who was involved? Are we really expected to believe that drivel??? Obviously we are because that's what has been repeated to us.

Next we waited almost a year for the president to respond to the Public Protectors report - he responded only to say that he has not benefited and would not be paying as the matter was being investigated by Parliament. This caused major issues when the EFF (sun by previous Zuma supporter and mentee Julius Malema) demanded to know when the money would be repaid. This saw the EFF thrown out of Parliament on more than one occasion and even manhandled when removed by police during the State of the Nation address in February this year:

Thais leads us to the most recent development... the one where (surprise, surprise) Zuma employee and police minister Nathi Nhleko determined that Zuma would not have to repay a cent. The kicker here being the inclusion of the information that the upgrades are still not complete and that further public funds would be spent on upgrading the PRIVATE house of a criminal. There is no benefit to the people of South Africa and no need at all for Zuma to have that much protection... 

So here we are people... living through one of the ANC's biggest cover-ups... Where the president is allowed to appropriate millions of Rands of taxpayer money and spend it all on himself  and his family and will never have to account for any of it. 

I have to say that I am disgusted and completely ashamed to be a South African citizen today. I hang my head in shame that the once proud country has allowed itself to fall so far and so fast. That we are at the mercy of imbeciles who think it is fantastic that their leader has stolen so much public money (mostly paid by white South Africans) and intends to openly steal more... Here are a few comments from the articles that show you their thinking:

Nkandla report in a nutshell

2015-05-28 21:09
Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s observations/findings and recommendations
- The firepool, animal enclosure with culvert and chicken run, amphitheatre and Visitors’ Centre were strategic and necessary security arrangements
- The president is as much of a South African as every other citizen and entitled to the rights that every citizen enjoys
- Most of the structures and task teams that investigated the upgrades did not share a common definition of what constitutes security features
- The project management process was not properly structured and coordinated.
- The manner in which this matter had been handled in former investigations has sought to question the credibility and integrity of professionals and experts in their relevant fields.
- The extent of the investigations as well as the intrusion into the private residence of the president has resulted in a violation of his rights.
- The State President is not liable to pay for any of these security features.
- The outstanding security related work should be funded and completed expeditiously. This includes boosting firefighting capacity -  i.e. eight hose reels, additional fire hydrants and a booster pump.
- Current physical security measures need to be re-evaluated. 

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