15 reasons Zuma is unsafe in Nkandla

2013-11-14 18:05

Carien du Plessis summarises some of the findings of a security assessment of President Jacob Zuma’s home in KwaNxamalala, Nkandla, and why the R240 million security upgrades were necessary. The findings were in a report tabled by Parliament’s joint standing committee on intelligence.

1. Zuma’s original property of 3.8 hectares was too small.

At least 5.1ha of state-owned land had to be added to house the extra security features.

2. Nkandla is one of the five poorest areas in KwaZulu-Natal.

It is “a deep rural area” and has “remote, sparsely located villages generally characterised by rough terrain, inadequate infrastructure and health facilities, as well as a general lack of basic services such as water and sanitation”.

3. It “can be susceptible to strong earthquakes, on average one earthquake every 50 years, with occurrences at 5-6 Richter scale”.

4. There is a “very high” risk of flooding and a medium to low risk of extreme drought.

5. The roads that link Nkandla to nearby towns is either tarred and “in a very bad state and is covered in potholes”, which have caused accidents, or they are gravel roads that are not suitable for travel in rainy weather. The 200km road to King Shaka International Airport is a three-hour drive and poses “an even bigger transportation challenge to the president”.

6. There are 10 clinics and two hospitals to serve the 140 000 people of Nkandla.

The facilities are too far away and unable to meet the standards or nature of healthcare required for Zuma and his household.

7. Any household in South Africa needs security nowadays to deter criminals, whether it be “high-quality security devices, security dogs, high-security fences, burglar doors and gates, and even 24-hour guard services”.

Homes belonging to a public figure or a high-profile politician are more often at risk of attacks or assassinations than any other politician.

A head of state needs maximum security.

8. Residents within rural communities are regarded soft targets of crime, and Zuma’s family “may be reviewed as an even easier target for retribution on different political viewpoints”.

9. Rape is particularly on the rise, among other crimes.

10. An emergency situation may arise that needs swift evacuation for Zuma and/or his family through adequate transport, using efficient communication and effective security systems – all of which aren’t readily available in Nkandla.

11. There’s “a growing trend of political assassinations generally in the history of South Africa post-apartheid”.

The situation is bad in Mpumalanga and the worst in KwaZulu-Natal.

The ANC has suffered the most assassinations here.

The peace Zuma helped broker between the IFP and the ANC didn’t last long.

12. Political tensions in Nkandla municipality are running high and there is a threat of a resurgence in political violence.

13. Water supply is erratic and a reservoir had to be built for fire-fighting purposes.

The threat of fire is high on the dry side of the mountain.

14. Eskom pylons and a mountainous area make access by helicopter hazardous.

15. The tuck shop was a security risk because customers came in from outside.

It had to be moved to the boundary wall so that outsiders didn’t have to enter the premises to visit the tuck shop.

See the full report:

Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence report: Security measures at the president’s private residence in...

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