Guest Column

Where is your personal pride, Mr Zuma?

2015-08-07 09:31

Koos Kombuis

No-one expected the Nkandla saga to come to this.

Neglect. Inferior construction. Shoddy workmanship, lack of accountability, and a clear shortage of self-respect and personal pride.

That sums up the qualities of the house in which the president of our country lives. The private residence, the residence above and beyond his official residences. The residence he built with taxpayers' money.

When we, the taxpayers, heard what we had paid for that residence, we assumed that it would be quite a palatial place. Something like Saddam Hussein’s erstwhile mansion, with golden taps, expensive paving, marble floors and literally tons of Jacuzzi’s.

Those were the things we expected to gaze upon when we entered through the hallowed portals of this estate.

Instead of that, we were shown a bunch of half-finished, untidy outside structures, where goats wandered about among sagging rooftops and broken fences.

This is the failed building site, the architectural ‘masterpiece’ on which Jacob Zuma had been prepared to spend millions of rands of other peoples’ money.

How can it be that he himself never noticed anything amiss? He lives there himself, in that inferior house. He walks through those half-finished tunnels every night. Yet he never realised that he had been duped by unscrupulous architects and builders. Surely being a home-owner implies a certain degree of personal responsibility, some basic awareness? What kind of man fails to notice what goes on right under his own roof?

Where is the pride of such a man, where is the insight, the sense of accountability, the discretion?

Surely Zuma is more than just a pawn in other peoples’ crooked chess games. He is the leader of the mightiest political party in South Africa. He is the head of state of the most modern country in Africa. Apart from his official job description, he is also a father, a husband, and… whether or not he realises what this entails: a HOME OWNER.

How can a man, who sees millions of rands being siphoned away from right under his nose, simply stand by passively and accept the fact that his personal space is being compromised and devalued? How can a person who has no real grasp of what is happening in his own back yard, a man without any perspective into the erosion of his private life, be trusted with the government of a powerful and advanced  country like South Africa? How can he expect us to obey his commands?

How can we take him seriously when he makes plans that might drastically influence our own lives, plans relating to property ownership, media freedom, work security and the like, when he is not able to administer, manage or maintain his own life, his own finances, his own acre of ground?

Under the leadership of Jacob Zuma, South Africa, in recent years, has been allowed to decline in mush the same manner as that house has been allowed to decline. Nkandla and South Africa as a whole have been subject to the same process of decay.

There was a time, not too long ago, when Zuma was seen a powerful figure, feared and dominant in his arrogance, the laughing and taunting chief jester in parliament.

We opposed him, because we did not agree with his statements and his policies. We opposed him, because we were under the impression that he was a cunning and dangerous politician.

He does not look like a cunning and dangerous politician any more.

He looks like a helpless loser. Somebody who no longer holds the reigns of his own life. Someone who has neither the skills, nor the insight to make sure to safeguard himself from things leaking, things breaking, things being stolen.

Nkandla is not a house built upon rock. It stands on false foundations. It rest upon quicksand. It can collapse any moment.

We dare not allow that which is about to happen to Nkandla to happen to South Africa.

Under Zuma’s leadership, our parliament has become a circus, our economy has been dragged down to below the acceptable breadline, and just about every state-owned company and institution has degenerated into chaos.

Just like his house.

I have news for you, Pres Zuma: that Nkandla residence is not your property, and it never was. It was built with our money. It belongs to us.

Likewise, South Africa is not your personal property. You cannot do with it as you please.

South Africa is ours. It belongs to the people of South Africa. And we will rebuild it and fix it and look after it, even if we have to do it ourselves, with our own bare hands, without the so-called ‘help’ of your team of useless cronies and cadres.

NOW is the time for all eligible voters to stand together and rid ourselves of this man before he does any more damage to our infrastructures, our political culture, our institutions and our national self-respect.

Away with Zuma. Away with Nkandla. For the sake of South Africa.

We can no longer leave the affairs of this country in the hands of a grinning clown who can’t even control the chickens in his own back yard.


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