Guide us please, Mr Zuma

2011-03-05 13:18

Open letter to President Jacob Zuma
Dear Mr President,

First I need to mention that I am a member of the ANC and have been a supporter of the political movement since I was 11 years old.

I consciously celebrated the unbanning of the ANC and the release of Nelson Mandela.

These two events signalled hope not only to me, but to fellow sons and daughters of the African soil who suffered under apartheid.

I watched with keen interest the events leading to the Codesa negotiations and the historic April 27 1994 election.

Although I was not eligible to vote then, in my capacity as an ANC Youth League branch secretary, I played what I believe was an important role in preparing for the election by participating in voter education programmes and helping people to acquire identity documents so that they were able to vote.

When we campaigned for the elections, we said “sekunjalo (now is the time)”.

We promised the masses “jobs jobs jobs”. On election day, scores of our people honoured the call to vote.

In June 2005, 11 years into a democratic South Africa, I was part of the youth movement which gathered at the Durban City Hall under the banner of the South African Youth Council.

We were angry with then president Thabo Mbeki for axing you as deputy president.

Like most of the people then, we called him names.

The then KwaZulu-Natal premier, Sbu Ndebele, and minister in the presidency Essop Pahad came to address the biannual conference of the council, but we disrupted them because their boss had just fired a people’s leader.

Jacob Zuma is very close to our hearts. He is one of us.

The events that unfolded from the time you were fired were hurtful to all of us, and we breathed a sigh of relief when you were elected president of the ANC in 2007.

Even when people questioned our integrity, we continued to support you. I believe in the ANC and its leaders, and I believe in you as a person.

In June 2009, a month after you became president of the Republic of South Africa, myself and a group of young people from Gauteng spent five days in Nkandla, the village where you were born, to celebrate your ascension to the highest office in the land.

We planted trees, re-painted and cleaned yards at Nxamalala Clinic and Ntolwana Primary School.

Your wife, Mma Khumalo, was a good host – she fed us and made us feel at home. She is just like you, Mr President, a real people’s person.

But, Mr President, as a citizen of this country I am very worried.

I am raising two children in South Africa and I need to ask you five questions:

» Do you share the common feeling that the treatment of the poor labourers at Aurora mines was horrible and therefore unconstitutional?

This issue was in the media throughout last year and your name and that of Nelson Mandela were consistently mentioned in this “shameful scandal”.

I believe your nephew, Khulubuse, owns a stake in the mines.

» Are the reports about your assistance to your son Duduzane’s multimillion-rand businesses true, or is the media feeding us lies yet again?

»Are there other previously disadvantaged people known to you whose businesses have grown at the blistering pace of Duduzane’s which the media is not reporting on?

» Are you using your office to advance the business interests of your family, or is this your understanding of black economic empowerment?

» I have a dream of becoming president one day. Would you encourage me to use my office to help my close family to enter into businesses worth billions of rand?

I am asking these questions, Mr President, so that you can educate me.

It is also out of worry, and I hope you will be able to clarify them for me and many other South Africans.

Thus my prayer, Mr President,
Ngoako Mohlaloga

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