How should we respond to the Nkandla security video shown in Parliament? We could get angry; we could laugh (so we don’t cry); or, we could listen to Sizwe Mpofu Walsh’s 2014 track, Mr President. Actually, we’ve been doing just that since yesterday’s farce, and we strongly recommend you do too.
So, President Jacob Zuma is not going to pay back the money, after police minister Nathi Nhleko said he didn’t have to. No surprises there.
But never underestimate our government’s ability to reach new lows. What did come as a surprise yesterday was the demonstration video on Nkandla, firepools, chicken runs and “vital security features” that Nhleko showed in parliament.
Mr president, this is for the people who you’re tryna fool
This is for the people, so it’s time to school
This is for the cronies who admire you: you wanna see a chicken run?
I’ll drown you in your firepool!
Mpofu-Walsh originally released Mr President, a remix of a track by Tunisian rapper El Général, in April last year in the run-up to the general elections.
But there’s a good reason it’s been giving us earworm in the last few days: with the release of the Nkandla report – not to mention the delaying tactics around the release of the Farlam Commission report – it’s become, if possible, even more relevant today.
South Africans are waiting with baited breath for Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s response to the police report on Nkandla, which contradicts the findings of her own report, issued in March last year, that stated the president should pay back a “reasonable” portion of the money used to upgrade his private home in Nkandla.
To quote Mpofu-Walsh’s lyrics again: “Fooled me once, but you can’t fool Thuli.”
He’s right there, but unfortunately the public protector lacks the supporting political will for her findings to be enforced.
Which leaves us with a final question posed by Mr President: “Where do you run when the president’s a thief? Where do you go when the criminal’s police?”
Let us know if you have an answer to that one, because we’re stumped.