Zuma saviour a 'struggling wannabe'

2014-10-12 10:25


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Cape Town - Vumelani Mchunu, the man who offered to pay back President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla debt is a struggling wannabe filmmaker and still lives with his parents.

According to the Sunday Times, Mchunu's neighbours have laughed off the idea of him paying back millions owed by Zuma, while his filmmaking colleagues dismissed him as being an attention seeker.

Mchunu, 33, shot to instant fame last week when he wrote a letter to parliament's ad hoc committee on Nkandla offering to pay back Zuma's Nkandla debt as detailed by the public protector.

Mchunu initially agreed to a face-to-face interview with the Sunday Times but then changed his mind. But in a telephonic interview, he described himself as self-employed and said he was part of a group of self-employed and unemployed youth who had no current sponsors to fund the youth empowerment projects they ran, reported the newspaper.

But he did admit that the group did not have the money to cover Zuma's debt.

President 'humiliated'

On Saturday News24 reported that Mchunu claimed to be the chairperson of the Public Members Unit Team (PMUT), which sent the letter to parliament.  

However, when approached last week to comment, Mchunu referred all calls to spokesperson Simphiwe Ngema who later issued a statement that read: "The PMUT chairman will call a media briefing once the respond from the parliament has been received (sic)."

According to its letterhead, PMUT is based in 250 Avoca Hills Drive, Avoca Hills, near KwaMashu in Durban. This is a recently built complex of flats and some of the units are yet to be occupied.

According to James Selfe, chairperson of the DA's federal executive, the property is also the headquarters of an HIV/Aids non-profit organisation (NPO) known as Izigi Zentuthuko.

However, the NPO's full address indicates it is one of the many flats in the complex at 250 Avoca Hills Drive.

When journalists went to the address on Friday, a security guard would not allow entry to visit PMUT chairperson Mchunu without calling ahead. When telephoned, Mchunu said he was not at home.

According to one newspaper report, PMUT consists of over 30 business people who want to help the president and will raise funds to pay his Nkandla debt.

Madonsela targeted

Mchunu said in the letter that the Nkandla issue "humiliated" the president and said that once the amount, if any, owed had been finalised the PMUT "will pay that money back on behalf of the president".
"We strongly believe that the president was not aware and still not aware of how much exactly was supposed to be spent on his house at Nkandla regarding the security upgrade."

The ad hoc parliamentary committee chairperson Cedrick Frolick also made public a "formal complaint against the public protector" from the Concerned Lawyers and Educationists for Equality before the law (Cleebaw).

The letter was signed by Durban attorney Mamli Magigaba, acting for Cleebaw, and called for Thuli Madonsela to be removed from office if she was found to have "contravened the constitution and the Public Protector's Act".

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  nkandla upgrade  |  corruption

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