Monday, November 5, 2012

Zille's failed Nkandla march

THANDO MGAGA and SIYABULELA DZANIBE | 05 November, 2012 DA leader Helen Zille tries to get closer to President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla compound in KwaZulu-Natal Picture: THULI DLAMINI DA leader Helen Zille's attempt to trespass on President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead yesterday ended in retreat amid threats of stone-throwing and other violence. Share Article: About 120 angry ANC members - who had been bused in by the party's Musa Dladla regional leadership - warned a defiant Zille to go back to Western Cape and deal with its challenges instead of "snooping" on Zuma. With ANC supporters travelling from Durban and Vryheid in luxury Range Rovers and Mercedes-Benzes, singing Dubula iBhunu and waving party flags, yesterday's DA "invasion" bore a strong resemblance to its youth subsidy march to Cosatu House in Johannesburg earlier this year. That campaign, in May, resulted in a bruising street battle when Cosatu members attacked DA supporters. Yesterday, the presence of about 100 police, some from the tactical response team, and a helicopter hovering over the Zuma compound, prevented what might have turned into another bloody battle. Zille and her six-member delegation, including DA youth chairman Mbali Ntuli, Limpopo DA leader Jacques Smalle and DA KwaZulu-Natal chairman Haniff Hoosen, were escorted to Zuma's home village by a 30-member police tactical team that met her convoy at Eshowe, 50km from Nkandla. On the stretch of road to Zuma's house more armed police greeted Zille but prevented her from getting closer to the compound. The irate DA leader defied police orders not to continue towards the crowd. "The ANC members are turning a public road into a no-go area," she said. "This is a democratic country. We have freedom of movement. The police are defending the undermining of the constitution and the breaking of the rule of law [by] not defending our right to freedom of movement." A verbal altercation with the police resulted in tactical response team members forming a human wall to prevent Zille and her delegates from marching up to ANC supporters, who sang about her being an imperialist who did not want areas other than Western Cape to develop. In the end, Zille and her party managed to see Zuma's compound only from the main road, about a kilometre from the mansion. Upset at her treatment by the police, Zille went to a police station to complain of a violation of the Legal Gathering Act. She vowed not to give up her quest to uncover just how much was spent renovating the president's residence and who benefited from the revamp. The public protector is investigating "Nkandlagate" and DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko has asked the auditor-general to probe the renovations. But in spite of all the investigations, Zille yesterday threatened the president and his government with legal action. She gave Zuma three days in which to tell the "truth" about Nkandla, including "how much was spent, on what, by whom, and under what provision of the law". Zuma will, it appears, pay only 5% of the total R248-million it will cost to revamp his Nkandla homestead, which includes the construction of a helipad and underground bunkers, and the erection of fencing around the entire complex. "We felt it was important for us to see the compound for ourselves before we embark on court action against the president for this blatant abuse of power," Zille said. "This is state-sponsored corruption on an unprecedented scale. We cannot let him get away with it." She said she would instruct the DA's lawyers on Wednesday. The Nkandla renovations have been mired in controversy and secrecy, with no government department willing to give detailed information on the grounds that Nkandla has been classified as a "national keypoint". Zille, however, said Zuma had lost the right to call the compound his private residence because it "belongs to each and every South African who has had to sacrifice the basic services they need so that the president can turn his home into a five-star fortressed palace". "Abusing public money for private benefit is the very definition of corruption. The R250-million spent on Nkandla is the most brazen case of corruption since the arms deal," said Zille. The chairman of the ANC's Musa Dladla region, Thulani Mashaba, said Zille should stop "obsessing" about Zuma and trying to block rural development, and instead focus on challenges in her province. Times Live - - - - - - - COMMENTS BY SONNY - WE THE WHITES OF SOUTH AFRICA WILL NEVER AGAIN ACCEPT THE ZUMA AND HIS ANC THUGS WANT A DEMOCRATIC SOUTH AFRICA! HIS RULE IS BASED ON PERSONAL GAINS, CORRUPTION, CRONISM, LIES, DECEIT, ARROGANCE AND IGNORANCE OF THE RULE OF LAW AND DEMOCRACY! THE ANC HAS MADE ITS LAST STAND AGAINST THE CONSTITUTION OF SOUTH AFRICA! ZUMA AND HIS ANC THUGS SHOULD GO AND SEE WHY - Cape Town scoops gold as Africa's best city!! There is not one ANC run city in SA that is not riddled with corruption and nepotism! PITY MARGARET THATCHER AND HER BUNCH OF IDIOTS DID NOT SEE THIS COMING! OH, THE QUEEN? WHAT QUEEN! Nkandla visit was not a publicity stunt: Zille Sapa | 05 November, 2012 Helen Zille, leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance party, speaks to the media after police officials blocked her attempts to walk near South African President Jacob Zuma's home in Nkandla November 4, 2012. According to local media, the DA has requested details of the 248 million rand ($28.3 million) upgrades to Zuma's house, some 240 km (149 miles) north of Durban. Photograph by: ROGAN WARD It was "unfortunate" to describe the DA's visit to President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead as a publicity stunt, leader Helen Zille said on Monday morning. Share Article: According to an SABC news report, presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj accused her of seeking publicity by giving an ultimatum to Zuma to provide details of his upgrades at Nkandla by Wednesday. "I think stunt is a very unfortunate word to use," said Zille, in response to a question from SAfm. "Because what it [the visit] did achieve is, now everyone is aware that hundreds of millions of rands of public money is being spent on a private home outside of the law and that the president... [is] refusing to answer questions," said Zille. But Maharaj said the Democratic Alliance leader needed to follow proper channels if she wanted answers. "She knows very well that if she wants to serve an ultimatum or communicate with the president in any way there are proper channels for her to do so. So when she chooses to go to the media, it seems to me... that she's just looking for publicity." Zille led a DA delegation to Zuma's Nkandla residence in KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday, but was stopped by several hundred African National Congress supporters. Police refused permission for Zille to proceed along the road to the residence, citing safety reasons. The crowd, which eventually numbered between 800 and 1000 supporters, blocked the road to the residence. One man was arrested and was expected to appear in court in Nkandla on Monday after firing a shot in the air before Zille's arrival. Times Live DA gives Zuma 72 hours to answer for Nkandlagate 04 NOV 2012 15:24 - NOSIHLE SHELEMBE, STAFF REPORTER The DA has given President Jacob Zuma 72 hours to answer questions on his new home or face legal action. OUR COVERAGE DA probing Nkandla is 'like puppies barking at the moon' DA turns up the heat on Nkandlagate Public works ducks questions on Zuma's Nkandla upgrade MORE COVERAGE Police stop Zille at Nkandla The DA on Sunday gave President Jacob Zuma 72 hours to respond to letters sent on October 16 asking questions about the Nkandla development or face court action. "We asked them for details on how much was spent, on what, by whom, and under what provision of law," the party said in a statement. "If there is no substantive response by close of business on November 7, we will instruct our lawyers to make preparations to take him and the government to court." The DA said it had not yet received a response, only a receipt of the letters. A large group of ANC supporters sang as they waited for DA leader Helen Zille to leave the Nkandla police station on Sunday. She laid a charge under the Gatherings Act against the ANC for blocking a public road during her failed attempt to visit President Jacob Zuma's KwaZulu-Natal homestead. When the convoy transporting the Democratic Alliance and a media contingent left the satellite police station, ANC shouted "hamba" (leave). An ANC supporter was arrested for drunk and disorderly outside the police station. Police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said another man was arrested earlier, during a demonstration by ANC supporters, for having an unlicensed firearm. "The man was in possession of a rifle. He will be charged for discharging a firearm in public and possession of a firearm." 'Lost the right' Zille said Zuma had lost the right to call his home a private residence. "Nkandla belongs to each and every South African who has to sacrifice the basic services they need, so that the president could turn his home into a five-star fortressed palace. "One day we will look at it as a monument to the fight against corruption." She questioned how the government could spend R248-million on Zuma's home, when it would not pay to transport the relatives of the victims of the Marikana shooting to the Farlam commission of inquiry. Earlier police stopped her and her entourage from approaching Zuma's homestead, in the village of KwaNxamalala, saying they wanted to prevent violence. Zille was told she could not pass the police roadblock as there were ANC supporters on the road to Zuma's home. She said the party had permission to gather on a public road outside a school opposite Zuma's home. Several cars carrying ANC supporters passed the police roadblock on a side road. They carried sticks and sang Dubhula ibhunu (Shoot the Boer). Buses full of ANC supporters were allowed to pass on the main road. When Zille asked officers why they were allowed to pass, she was told they would open a case against the organisers of the ANC march. "We never intended to go inside Zuma's home, we only wanted to gather opposite his compound on a public road," Zille said. About 700m from where the Democratic Alliance was stopped, police in riot gear prevented ANC supporters from advancing. Officers formed a human chain across the road. Police had several armoured Nyala personnel carriers, two trucks with water canons, and a helicopter in the area. The DA had wanted to visit Zuma's private residence, where an upgrade, reportedly costing over R200 million, and funded with taxpayers' money, was in progress. – Sapa, M&G Reporter Zille: Battle for spoils tearing ANC apart 04 NOV 2012 13:09 - PEROSHNI GOVENDER, ED CROPLEY The ANC will fracture before the decade is out, pulled apart by tension between big business and labour, opposition leader Helen Zille said. OUR COVERAGE Mthethwa to duel with Zille in court MORE COVERAGE Police stop Zille at Nkandla SACP: DA visit to Nkandla 'racist', 'right wing' and a 'publicity stunt' DA visit to Nkandla 'unnecessary and unwarranted' says ANC In an interview with Reuters, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Zille said the unprecedented mining turmoil, including the police killing of 34 strikers at Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine in August, had exposed unsustainable contradictions in Nelson Mandela's 100-year-old ANC. She attacked the veteran liberation movement that has ruled South Africa since the end of apartheid as "essentially a patronage-driven party", with those at the centre keeping power by controlling access to lucrative government contracts. It would be impossible for the ANC to keep organised labour and communists under the same roof as mega-wealthy post-apartheid industrialists such as Cyril Ramaphosa, a top ANC decision-maker and one of Lonmin's biggest shareholders. "The next five, six, seven years, up to 2019, will see the ANC come apart. It can't encapsulate and hold together those divergent ideologies in one coherent political party," Zille said in the interview late on Friday. She described the Marikana shootings, the bloodiest security incident since the end of white-minority rule in 1994, as a "catalytic event" that had exposed the frailties of the formal three-way alliance between the ANC, unions and Communist Party. "It has never been so dramatically illustrated - big government, big business, big unions - and the ANC being the common denominator between all three." ANC spokesperson were not immediately available for comment. In the past, the party has dismissed reports of internal divisions as the product of a hostile media and over-excitable political analysts. Race card The ANC has enjoyed a 60%-plus majority at the ballot box in all four national elections since the end of apartheid. However, its share of the vote has been declining gradually. Zille's DA now controls the Western Cape province that includes Cape Town, and secured nearly one in four of the votes cast nationally in 2011 local elections. The DA has its origins as the liberal, anti-apartheid party among whites in the era of white minority rule, but is determined to shake its reputation as a political haven for whites, who make up just 9% of the population. Two of the DA's most recent senior appointments - its leader in Parliament and its national spokesperson - are both black. Zille, a white former journalist and anti-apartheid activist, said the DA's electoral success proves its multi-racial appeal. "You can't be a white party and get 24% of the vote," she said. "The sums don't add up." South Africa's average age is 25, according to 2011 Census results released this week, meaning almost half its population are so-called 'Born Frees', with no memory of the institutionalised racism of apartheid. By contrast, the ANC's non-racial credentials have been called into question in the last two years by incidents such as now-expelled youth leader Julius Malema popularising an anti-apartheid song that advocates the killing of white farmers. "The ANC only has the race card left. That's all it has and it's becoming less and less believable," Zille said. 'Big man syndrome' The ANC and President Jacob Zuma have been criticised for their handling of the mining crisis, which triggered ratings downgrades, hit economic growth and tarnished South Africa's investment image. Investors have also become concerned about the spread of corruption and cronyism under Zuma, who came to power in 2009 only after the dropping of graft charges in circumstances that continue to cause controversy three years later. Zille said the strength of South Africa's post-apartheid Constitution, its courts and institutions such as the media meant the country would pull through in the long term, and foreigners should not lose faith. "I'd certainly put my money into South Africa," she said. But she also said the country suffered from "big man syndrome", the tendency for power to be concentrated in the hands of a single individual, which has bedevilled post-colonial Africa. "We've got a very strong economic base, a very strong civil society and although we have a big man syndrome in politics - yes, we do - there are enough checks and balances and counterveiling forces to prevent it entrenching itself to destroy our democracy." She also said there was no doubt about Zuma winning re-election as head of the ANC at a party congress in the central town of Mangaung in December, teeing him up for another four years in power as national president from 2014. "It's sewn up," she said. – Reuters COMMENTS BY SONNY Our friend Mac Maharaj should go back to Lesotho and farm carrots! His "Vula" speeches are boring!

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