Nkandlagate bickering continues

2012-11-06 22:16
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DA visit blocked in Nkandla

Police prevented DA leader Helen Zille and her entourage from approaching President Jacob Zuma's homestead in Nkandla. See all the pictures.

Cape Town - Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi on Tuesday roasted the DA for "self-seeking antics" linked to an outcry over security refurbishments to President Jacob Zuma's private home.

Nxesi and two government colleagues reacted to calls from opposition benches in the National Assembly.

This was after they were urged to condemn Zuma supporters who blocked Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille from carrying out an "inspection" at Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, on Sunday.

"These were the tantrums of a spoiled child desperately seeking attention in a world where they've become largely irrelevant," Nxesi proclaimed.

Deputy International Relations Minister Marius Fransman also weighed in, accusing the DA of being "dishonest".

He suggested violent protests in the farming area of De Doorns in the Western Cape over poor working conditions and wages the past few days were as a result of farmers connected to the Democratic Alliance.

"It is very hypocritical to come to another province, while in your own backyard you have this dilemma... that's what you have to answer for," said Fransman.

Sensitive issues

Earlier in the House, DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko drew comparisons between the security afforded to the president at Nkandla to that provided for pupils she recently visited at Ga-Molapo, Limpopo.

Mazibuko said four children had been raped in the past two years as a result of the dangerous path they had to walk to school.

"The learners of Limpopo need the same level of security afforded to president Zuma in Nkandla," Mazibuko said.

She said it was unacceptable that dozens of homes would be built in Nkandla to house police and air force personnel.

"While there's no clear and present danger at Nkandla, it is clear what danger the children of Ga-Molapo are in," she said.

Deputy Education Minister Enver Surty said it was unfortunate that violations against school children were being used by parties to score political points.

He said while the DA-led Western Cape had the highest levels of foetal alcohol syndrome, children affected by gang violence, and substance abuse among pupils, it was not seen as dereliction of duty by the provincial government, but a national responsibility.

"We do urge the honourable leader of the largest minority party, to caution her against the exploitation of sensitive issues of abuse for political purposes," Surty said.

DA MP Debbie Schafer said the fact that ANC leaders did not condemn the actions of its members, who prevented Zille from inspecting Nkandla, was "shameful".

She questioned the police's conduct in stopping Zille from carrying out her walkabout at Nkandla.

"We know Helen Zille is scary, but what threat did she pose to the security of the president?" said Schafer.

- SAPA
Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  helen zille  |  lindiwe mazibuko  |  thulas nxesi  |  jacob zuma  |  marius fransman  |  pietermaritzburg  |  politics  |  nkandla upgrade
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