SCOPA must investigate ‘Zumaville'
President Zuma's allocation of more than R1 billion in public money to build a new town just 3,2 km from his Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal is a serious abuse of public funds (see Mail & Guardian report).
Part of the overall development will include the expenditure of R36 million by the Department of Public Works to add a state-of-the-art security system to the President's private Nkandla Homestead, a helipad, a military health facility and housing for police and military personal.
How can President Zuma, through his private NGO, Masibambane, justify spending so much money on a single village, when across the province many people still do not have access to the most basic services?
I will be writing to the Chairperson of Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts, Themba Godi, to request that SCOPA investigate this expenditure, as well as whether any undue influence was placed on the government to allocate taxpayer's money to Masibambane, a non-state entity.
I will also submit a written question to President Zuma to enquire whether he will reconsider the amount being spent on Nkandla, and instead distribute funding to projects in other rural villages, which are far more in need.
Through Masibambane, President Zuma seems to be building up his Mangaung War Machine, channelling money and development to his friends and supporters.
Indeed, this may not have been the first time that Masibambane has been irregularly allocated state funding. Recently, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announced a donation of R800 million to Masibambane. This donation was meant to be directed to the Department's Zero Hunger Programme, which assists smallholder farmers.
This is cronyism and nepotism of the worst kind.
While the DA supports all efforts to support rural development, this must be done in an open, equitable way, with public money spent wisely and fairly. The taxes of millions of South Africa's people, which include contributions by the poor and unemployed, can under no circumstances be used to fund President Zuma's re-election campaign; nor can they be used to turn his private residence into a palace, as if he will govern South Africa forever.
South Africans want jobs, not patronage. They want quality education, proper infrastructure and investment for all. They should not have to foot the bill for ‘Zumaville'.
Statement issued by Lindiwe Mazibuko MP, DA Parliamentary Leader, August 5 2012
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