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Nkandla 'a private development'

14 November 2012, 11:31

THE DEVELOPMENTS IN NKANDLA ARE NOT RURAL DEVELOPMENT, BUT DEVELOPMENT OF THE PRIVATE RESIDENCE OF MR. ZUMA AT THE EXPENSE OF THE STATE AND AT THE EXPENSE OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT. 

Floyd Shivambu 

Recurrently, the defenders of Mr. Jacob Zuma have failed to justify the more than R240 million expended on the development of the private residence of Mr. Jacob Zuma in Nxamalala village, in Nkandla, and like drowning men and women clung on straws of portraying the development of his private residence as rural development. As part of this drowning band, the South African Communist Party in KwaZulu Natal, which is under the constant and permanent political and ideological puppetry of SACP Head Office released a public statement which made the most hilarious of claims, observations and proposals on the developments of the private residence of Mr. Zuma in Nkandla. 

Amongst these many claims and observations are the following, 1) Rural development is one of the five priorities which were identified by the Polokwane conference as needing an urgent attention. The SACP in the Moses Mabhida Province call for the rural development to be implemented without any hindrance from all forms of counter revolutionary forces; 2) We demand that the people of Nkandla should not be discriminated in government programmes to develop rural areas simply because they have the President of the Republic as one of their residents, and 3) The PEC also resolved to campaign for the promulgation of an Act which will protect dignity of the Office of the President.

Due to these observations, then this "Vanguard of the Working class" said "In the light of the recent attacks on rural development which is inaccurately characterised as prioritisation of Nkandla, the SACP will embark on a massive protest march in support of rural development which is currently taking place throughout the Republic. Rural development is one of the five priorities that were identified after the Polokwane conference as needing an urgent attention. We call on all disciplined cadres of the movement to support rural development as was agreed in Polokwane. The march will take place at Mthiyaqwa school and proceed to Inkandla Municipality next to a sports stadium".

Now this is the Communist Party, which says that what is happening in Nkandla is rural development and that South Africa's institutions of democracy should now be utilized to protect Mr. Zuma from those who will dare question the conspicuous expenditure of government resources on his private residence, whilst even his most immediate neighbours do not have decent shelter. This is the Communist Party, which will mobilize the working class and the poor to go sing and dance in defence of such callous usage of State resources which can benefit thousands of many people in and outside Nkandla. Perhaps this is inspired by the coincidence that both the Minister and Deputy Minister responsible for such expenditures are officials of the SACP, as Deputy National Chairperson and 1st Deputy General Secretary respectively.

The glaring inconsistencies of how the SACP characterizes Nkandla also exposes that there is neither political, nor ideological sound principle behind its construction. Whilst the foot soldiers in KwaZulu Natal misnamed it rural development, the ideological puppet masters in COSATU House, now based in Pretoria call it a necessary security upgrade for the President, because as Mr. Thulas Nxesi says, "The President cannot be treated like any other ordinary person.... This is the President we are talking about here". He is indeed not an ordinary person, because he stands accused of R500 000 corruption and agrees to diversion of more than R200 million of public funds into his private residence. Such is extra-ordinary. 

Now back to basics, it is instructive to indicate hat the ANC took its first set of comprehensive resolutions on rural development in the 52nd National Conference in Polokwane in December 2007. None of the resolutions suggested that the State should expend multimillionaire on the rabid developments of the private residence of Mr. Zuma. The resolutions were cantered on the following key pillars derived from the Freedom Charter; 1) Land restitution, 2) Issuing of agricultural implements to small scale farmers, 3) opening of markets for small scale agricultural practitioners in rural areas, and 4) building of capacity in rural areas for beneficiation and processing of agricultural products so as to build a sustainable rural economy. Not once was it ever suggested or even implied that the State will use Public Works money, the department which is not responsible for rural development, to expend millions of Rands on the development of the private residence of Mr. Zuma.

It is not justifiable in any way to expend so much money on the private residence of anyone, even when that person is a sitting President. There already exists three multimillion Rands official residences of a sitting President in South Africa, in Cape Town, Pretoria and Durban. There is no need and there can never be any need to expend so much money in Nkandla. Those who have been to Nkandla will know that even after the multimillion rand expenditures in the development of the private residence of President Zuma, there is still no rural development in Nkandla. The people of Nkandla live in dire poverty, affected by the same crisis of unemployment, starvation and inequalities, now worsened by the fact that there is a Multimillionaire amongst them whose multimillions come from the public purse.

Now, how would a Party of the working class, actually the Vanguard of the working class be the number one defenders of such pure corruption, which I define as diversion of public money into self enrichment and self gratification? Why is the Communist Party planning to sing and dance over the fact that the sitting President is complicit in diverting public funds into his personal enrichment, whilst his immediate neighbours do not have decent shelter? These questions we should answer urgently before the Act to silence such answers is passed as proposed by the SACP in KwaZulu Natal, or should we just say their puppet Masters in Pretoria? 

The sad reality is that now and historically, those who claimed and claim to be vanguard of the working class get transformed into a rapacious nomenklatura whose greed is far much deeper and more dangerous than that of the ruling class in a capitalist society. This kind of nomenklatura is often accompanied by efforts to suppress any form of dissent, and at worse associated with executions and assassinations of those who question such practices. Some of us previously thought that the Communist Party in South Africa will overcome such weaknesses, but it was not to be so because the SACP is the number one defender of corruption and corrupt practices in the guise of defending the Polokwane revolution that was never a revolution, but replacement of the governing elite. 

ANC members should save the ANC and society from these practices and tendencies because if not, we will soon be deprived of the right to say that Mr. Jacob Zuma is directionless, lacks capacity, lacks morals, lacks integrity, lacks intelligence, wisdom and knowledge to save South Africa from the crises of unemployment, poverty and inequalities because he is busy concentrating on himself and his private residence development. It is one painful thing to be deprived of resources for equitable development, but it will be more painful to be deprived the right to say that our rights to shelter is deprived by the rapacious, gluttonous and greedy nomenklatura that is guising as champions of the working class and the poor. George Carlin was correct when he said, "Never underestimate the power of stupid people, in large numbers". 

Floyd Shivambu is an Economic Freedom Fighter.

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