As the momentum grows as to who will be paying for the Zuma family’s home in the Nkandla district of KwaZulu-Natal, the voting public are at one’s and two’s over the information that is pouring out from all the news media networks as to who is going to fit the bill for this majestic family residence.
Looking at the financial cost of the place we see amounts of R65, 000,000-00. Do the foreign exchange numbers on that figure and it still looks far too much for a 4th world country such as South Africa to treat their president with! ($27,000,000-00 or in GB£5,300,000-00.)
The family home(s) will consist of two main houses – one being a double storey, plus one guest house.
Included in the complex will be a minimum of three homes as staff quarters, underground living quarters, helicopter pad, police station, military style clinic, a visitors centre and parking for at least 40 vehicles.
Part of the controversy is whether or not the South African president has a bond for this property. The newspapers have been unable to locate public records to support Zuma's claim that the property was bonded.
It appears that the Ingonyama Trust is the owner of the deed for the property. Belinda Benson, property manager of the trust stated the documents were for the Zuma property and she does not have knowledge of a bond being registered to the property in President Zuma’s or any of his family member’s names. It therefore appears that there is no bond.
President Zuma, on visiting several of the poorer areas in South Africa, made the following statement earlier this year:-
"I have paid visits to a number of areas where you can't believe that you are in South Africa. Why should I see that, as the president of the country, not even of the ANC, and think that I could sleep peacefully when I know there are people who live in things you can't even describe as a house?"
There is also much talk, an official investigation and public outcry about Zumaville, or the Umlalazi-Nkandla Smart growth Centre, named Nkandlagate. The budget for this new town, situated 3km from the Zuma home(s), is R2billion. While South Africa is undergoing a series of strikes that is undermining the economy, can the country afford this massive expense when budgets are tight in many of sections, including health and education?
Opposition leader, Helen Zille made this statement:
"How can a leader ask the country to make sacrifices, and tighten belts in hard times, when he leads such publicly-funded extravagance? This impoverished region of the country needs clinics, hospitals and decent classrooms. He has decided to build them literally in his own backyard. President Zuma's behavior upends the very concept of social justice which is written into our constitution."
Julius Malema is accusingof building, “New York City in KwaZulu Natal.”
While other presidents of South Africa have been less fortunate in benefiting from government sponsorships from state funds, will future presidents expect the same benefits?
Is the president of South Africa planning a close community to help him overcome boredom when the reins of the country finally fall from his hands and he is left to contemplate what more might have been? Do Zuma and his vast family really need a town so close to their family settlement? Is it incorrect to call this home and surrounding buildings a compound or a homestead? Surely not, is the word compound to close to how many of the poorer working class have to live, and is the word homestead to close to the white mans view of this episode?
What is the thinking and reasoning behind having a helipad, police station and military style clinic on the premises. Does our present president fear the future and is he preparing himself and his family, for a siege should things go wrong and a civil war break out in South Africa?
Frightening, whichever view one takes of what is happening!