Georgina Guedes

Do you think South Africans are idiots?

2013-12-20 10:05

Our government must think all South Africans are morons. For the Security Cluster to release a task team report on the upgrades at Nkandla that exonerates the president (although not really), in the wake of a fairly damning report from the Public Protector, in the year before an election, is disingenuous at best.

The fact that the task team report has holes in it large enough to fly the presidential jet through is yet another indication of the levels of contempt with which our government regards its public.

Let's discuss everyone's favourite justification - the fire pool. We are told that in a rural location, it's unlikely that a fire engine would reach the thatch palace in time to save all the Zumas' worldly possessions.

So a magnificent pool was built at great expense so that all the Zuma wives could scoop buckets of water and make a human chain to douse the offending inferno.

I'd love to see what would really happen if there was a fire at Nkandla. I suspect it would be extinguished with the aid of a high-powered hose like any other South African fire.

We're also supposed to believe that Zuma, who lives there, and is, you know, the president of the country, so ostensibly in charge of all of this, was unaware of the expense and scale of the upgrades.

So he just thought they were digging a massive hole in his front garden that he hasn't asked for. Surely he would ask. I would ask.

I'd be very worried if a man who should have the insight and competence to run a country didn't wonder why he was getting a giant pool. I'm not sure if I'd trust him to drive my car.

So, ja, we're not buying that.

But what really makes me hopping mad - livid - is the bit of the report that states that Nkandla has three times been the target of crime, as if we're supposed to be concerned for our president and his harem while they live it up on the hillside. Coz, you know, South Africa is a crime-ridden country and it can be dangerous to ostentatiously display wealth in poverty-stricken rural communities.

What about the rest of us South Africans? Those of us who work hard to feed our families and keep them safe, but don't have access to the vast wealth of the national tax coffers to fund our security upgrades.

Wouldn't it be great if or government did something to address the crime problem - something about education, unemployment or police corruption? R200m would be a great starting budget.

Georgina Guedes is a freelance writer. You can follow @georginaguedes on Twitter.

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