Dear Mr President,
I'm writing to you in connection with Nkandla. Now I'm not going to bore you with the details, it's all over the press: South Africans are pissed off, and you know it very well. Recently it came to my attention that somebody is trying to sabotage you once again, somebody who holds a serious threat to your presidency. I'm talking about Julius Malema. Presumably you are well aware of Malema and his EFF building a house outside your homestead for an underpriveleged woman:
Although we could argue that this is an oppertunistic move to win votes, EFF, probably more eloquently than other South Africans, are attempting to send out a message: Stop ignoring poverty. We will haunt you until you start doing something. Or we will shame you until you step down. Things could get ugly. Next thing you know there will be an entire informal settlement on your front porch. What really worries me is that the police are onto the case, patrolling the area.
I guess an appealing step for you would be to have this woman forcibly removed, and for that matter anyone else squatting on your stoep. You could bulldoze those houses, Voster style.You have allready proven that you are above the law, and the police have demonstrated on more than one occasion what they're capable off. Human rights violations are rife in South Africa, and allthough most people would be horrified, nobody would be shocked.
Mr Zuma, regardless of how you handle this situation, you won't win yourself any favours. Well, let's say, 90% of your options would lose you votes. Even ignoring the affair wouldn't make people stoo hating you. However, I want to give you an idea on how you could win over the hearts of the nation, even those hard-core old South Africans. Mr Zuma, through taking a few simple measures, you could easily gain a competitve edge over all those other opportunists calling themselves politicians. Do you want to kick some serious DA/EFF/AGANG/COPE/ etc ass? Then dare to continue reading:
In order to explain my idea, I would like to tell you about a man coming from a similar background as yourself, a man willing to take a bullet in order to insure the freedom of his people. He is the president of Uruguay, José Mujica. Like you, Mr Mujica spent a decade of his life in prison.
I am not sure what your circumstances on Robben Island were, but it couldn't have been easy. Mr Mujica certainly didn't have fun. In fact, two years of his sentence were spent at the bottom of a well, where he is said to have spoken to frogs and insects to keep sane.
What makes Mr Mujico's story so remarkable, is that he chose not to move into the presidential palace when he was elected as president in 2009. Instead he lives in an old farm house, drives a VW beatle, and flies economy. At his house he has two security guards and a three-legged dog protecting him against potential enemies. On his humble existance, Mr Mujico states that "[his] lifestyle is a consequence of [his] wounds". He also comments that "There have been years when [he] would have been happy just to have a mattress." What is more, and this is where my brainwave comes from, Mr Mujico has made the presidential palace available as homeless shelter, should the other shelters in the capital, Montevideo, run out of space.
Mr Zuma, I am sure you remember a time when you probably also had to make do with the minimum. I am sure a flat that costs less than R1 000 000 is a dramatic step up from Robben Island. AND your children and wives are all nice and grown up, they can easily get jobs and buy/rent their own places. To my understanding, correct me if I'm wrong, it is not essential in Zulu culture for all wives in a polygamous marraige to live with their husband under the same roof. So a three-bedroom should be sufficient, right?
I am sure those people you gave presents over Christmas would be happy to even share ROOMS inside your 'palace'. Imagine how many homeless people you can squeeze in there? And that would also mean spending less tax money on building shelters. Plus, the EFF's attempts of possibly building a more houses outside Nkandla would be futile... Also, that lovely fire pool would be of great service to the public, considering that so many people, especially children, can't swim, and many drown as a result. Here is an opportunity to teach South Africans how to swim! Mr Zuma, I am not aware of any other South African politician living this lifestyle I'm proposing, do you have any idea how much browney points you could score with the general public if you down-size a wee bit?
OK, I get it that in your position security is an issue, but making do with less guards, like Mr Mujico, could actually be beneficial, considering that you would have less people you have to trust, and less people that could double-cross you. Also Mr Zuma, need I even remind you that you not only survived a regime that committed crimes against humanity, you took on that regime, risking your life? Mr Zuma, 52 years of your life were spent under Apartheid, and you are still alive to tell the story! Why so scared all of a sudden? When have you lost your will to fight and willingness to die for a cause? Mr Zuma, not many people live to be in their 70s like yourself, you are a tough man! I am sure you could do another 20 years without all those ridiculous security measures. Many people somehow survive South Africa's violent climate even without all those guards.
Mr Zuma, I can continue for hours about down-sizing, but I think you'll get the picture: In a nutshell, you have experienced worse, I am positive that you have a good chance to survive a fairly comfortable middle-class lifestyle, like many other South Africans. The question is, will you listen? I urge you Mr President: Be brave...surprise us!
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