DA’s Nkandla visit is mischievous – presidency

2012-11-03 19:44

The crime intelligence unit in KwaZulu-Natal is tasked with ­ensuring that there is no violence during the visit today by DA leader Helen Zille to Nkandla.

Party leader Helen Zille announced this week that she would, with a delegation, go to Nkandla to “inspect” the upgrades to Zuma’s KwaZulu-Natal home, which have cost taxpayers R248 million so far.

The unit was deployed to do ­security checks after the ANC threatened to “protect Zuma”. Colonel Jay Naicker said additional security would be given to Zille and her delegation if needed.

The DA’s decision to send a ­delegation to Zuma’s Nkandla home “smacks of a disingenuous publicity gimmick”, the presidency said yesterday.

Presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj issued a statement yesterday afternoon saying the DA’s ­motives for visiting Nkandla ­“remain highly questionable and mischievous”.

It seems some people ­within the DA agree with him and with the ANC at large, which has reacted angrily to the planned visit.

The ANC has accused the ­opposition party of being “provocative”, and wanting to invade the privacy of Zuma and his ­family, who reside on the sprawling estate.

This view is shared by some ­leaders in the DA, who say the ­visit is overkill.

“There are many of us who are concerned. We asked the Public Protector to investigate, and now we go there and do what we asked them to do,” said one DA MP.

The visit also complicates ­campaigning for next week’s by-elections, some dissenters say.

“Perception among black ­undecided voters is that we are provocative and want to have ­another showdown like the one at Cosatu House,” the MP said, ­referring to the DA’s march on Cosatu’s ­headquarters in May, which turned violent.

Those within the party who are opposed to the visit are worried the visit will have the same effect as the DA’s “Stop Zuma” campaign during the 2009 election.

“That campaign has damaged us and we don’t know what effect this one will have,” the MP said.

Zille was initially to have been ­accompanied by, among others, DA national party spokesperson Mmusi Maimane and the DA’s leader in Kwazulu-Natal, Sizwe Mchunu, but on Friday they both pulled out because of campaigning commitments for by-elections this Wednesday.

Now Zille will be joined by DA Limpopo leader Jacques Smalle, DA KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Haniff ­Hoosen and DA Youth federal chairperson Mbali Ntuli.

Party spokesperson Maimane said: “We will not be inspecting the bunkers (at Nkandla). We want to talk to the residents of the area.

The assumption that we are going to provoke violence is ­unfortunate and unfair.”

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