Guest Column

Finally, Nkandla’s ‘security features’ start paying off

2015-07-10 16:52
Jacob Zuma. (GCIS)

Jacob Zuma. (GCIS)

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Mandela Day is almost upon us. Even Number One is getting involved. As part of his 67 minutes contribution to society Jacob Zuma will help reinforce the existing perimeter fence of the Makgatho Lewanika Primary School in the Eastern Cape village of Mvezo on July 18. He will do this “by securing an extra mesh wire around the school in order to prevent the livestock from grazing inside the premises of the school”. 

So there. Taxpayers are finally seeing something back for all the money spent on “security upgrades” at Zuma’s private residence in Nkandla – that chicken run sure is going to come in handy when Zuma gets going with that mesh. 

I hope he’s inspected his enclosure properly, maybe taken photos with that phone that regularly updates his Twitter account, and googled images of what a decent, secure fence looks like. 

Surely Makgatho Lewanika could also do with a fire pool? On Saturday Mvezo is only going reach a high of 18 degrees – Zuma will be happy to know that while he’s grafting harder than Minenhle Makhanya, the architect and project manager for the controversial upgrades – but in summer it can reach temperatures of mid-thirties. A fire pool must therefore be an appropriate security feature. 

Maybe Police Minister Nathi Nhleko will use his 67 minutes to finally find out who authorised the 21 “bachelor units” that cost R135 million to house Zuma’s protectors from the police and army. The mysterious authoriser could also get in on the 67 Minutes action – and organise the school some other “security features” – like an amphitheatre for concerts and functions, some generators for when Eskom does its thing, and maybe get on to a cattle kraal like the one Zuma has. 

Then instead of paying back the money spent on the “security upgrades” the Prez could donate some cows. That way the school children could have fresh milk on a daily basis and his “doing good” time would last a bit longer than 67 minutes. 

And maybe the Economic Freedom Fighters, South Africa’s biggest supporters of justice, would be able cut Zuma some slack and focus on something – anything – other than the “pay back the money” campaign. 

The president did, at his swearing in, promise to “discharge his duties ... true to the dictates of his conscience; to do justice to all; and to devote himself to the well-being of the republic and all its people”. 

Civil servants are supposed to do just that – serve the civicus. Not serve themselves, civilly. It’s just a pity people don’t understand their job descriptions. It’s also a pity that so many get off their butts and do the hard work only when the cameras are rolling; for 67 minutes, not the length of their term in office. 

Read more on:    jacob  |  mandela day

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