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The logic of the ruling party

01 February 2013, 10:09

The logic of the ruling party, and of its spokesmen and apologists, never ceases to both amaze and confuse me.

At the time that the Nkandla debate began it was stated that the building of the complex/compound was part and parcel of some development policy being implemented by government to improve conditions in rural areas.

All well and fine as this obviously meant that all inhabitants of the area would be beneficiaries of health care, policing, roads, education and whatever other services and structures were being implemented. This in effect meant upliftment of the locals - a fine plan and one with much merit for a very undeveloped and poverty-stricken rural area - and in such cases expenditure is easily explainable.  200 million spent to uplift a rural community, quite feasible and obvious given the needs of many in this country, as long as further, similar developments were being planned for other areas.

Later however it emerged that this was no longer the case. The development was solely for the benefit of the president and his family and locals were not to be beneficiaries, even though it had previously been publicized that the development was actually all for them. This was then explained away by government stating that the president’s home/compound/complex was now a Key Point Installation and thus deserving of the amounts being spent, and tough luck on the locals.

Hmm, suddenly not so easily explainable given that harbours, power stations, airports, government building etc are obviously Key Points. But a home, a compound, a complex inhabited by a family – even though the first family – especially one which seems to contribute nothing to the country. Why is this a Key Point?

Now we have our esteemed minister of police stating that farms are not especially deserving of protection as they are merely part of the rural community and thus cannot expect special protection or extra considerations.

This brings up a number of interesting questions.

If indeed the development of Nkandla was firstly a rural development initiative – as stated – but now isn’t then what has happened to the locals who were supposed to be the beneficiaries? Have they been told that they will no longer obtain the services they were told to expect? Are they happy with this explanation?

Secondly, if Nkandla is no longer a rural development initiative but instead a Key Point Installation then why are farms also not Key Point Installations?

Why exactly is Nkandla now seen as a Key Point Installation? Is it vital to the stability and ongoing existence of the country? Are farms, and farmers, not seen as vital?

If Nkandla is a rural development, then why is it more deserving of protection – and lavish security measures – than farms? Farms produce the food that ALL SAfricans need to survive and thus should be Key Point Installations as without them we will not be able to feed 50 million people.

What will Nkandla produce, if anything, except more hungry mouths?

Lastly, if Nkandla is merely a hugely over capitalized homestead for the president and his extended family then why is it more deserving of protection – to the tune of 200 million with which at least 2000 pretty decent dwellings could have been built for local inhabitants, if my calculations are correct – than say any homestead in any suburb, town or city? Are we not worth as much to the economy and future survival of South Africa as the president and his family? It seems not.

The answer I believe to all these questions lies in asking the following 2 questions:

Why is Nkandla a Key Point Installation? Apparently because the president lives there.

Why are farms not Key Point Installations? Apparently because the president doesn’t live there.

If my logic hasn’t now entirely deserted me – in the face of a plethora of government statements, excuses and obvious lies – then we need to ask ourselves one more question:

Why do we need a president, and his family?

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