The extravagant expenditure of millions of rands on upgrades to President Jacob Zuma’s home in Nkandla has made him the biggest enemy in some communities. Anger stems from the general perception that the funds were misappropriated and could have been spent to improve the lives of less privileged South Africans.
UYANDA SIYOTULA spoke to Sowetans about the scandal.
Tshepo Mzizi, 29
I would like for Zuma to be demoted, I don’t see his purpose ever since he has been president. I do not see any improvement in the community. The Nkandla thing is a waste of money and the government that will rule in the future must utilise that place for the whole community of Nkandla because his neighbour is living in a hut while he lives in a mansion. They should just throw Zuma in a bin. He is useless. He has shelter for his cattle while people are living on the streets. The Freedom Charter says wealth should be shared, but no, he does not do that. The government must do something about him.
Our president does not think. He forgets that our votes put him there. He puts himself first, before the people. People are suffering out there – no water, electricity – and his neighbours are also poor, and all he cares about is himself and his family. I personally will not vote for reasons I will not disclose, but even if 99% do not vote the ANC will still win because, it is their system. I did not see the report, but the ANC must take action against Zuma. That will also show us if our government is accountable.
Tshepo Buke, 36
It is not fair that some of us live in shacks, homeless, and we see a person living in a home that cost more than R200-million. Even worse, a president, ai! Some kids are taught under trees, no clinics and other things, and he takes so much money. It’s not fair. Unfortunately I did not see the public protector’s report but if he is found guilty of using money illegally he must suffer the consequences like anyone else. He must repay the money he misused and be removed, I definitely do not want him to continue as the president, but the thing is, the ANC is so powerful they will still win no matter how much we complain.
We have a big problem with housing. I think, with that money, he should have built more RDP houses for people. This whole Nkandla saga really is a sad story to tell. It bores me so much, and it shows that he is incompetent. Actually, the ANC as a whole is. I could not watch Thuli Madonsela’s report because I was working but I think that Zuma should get his due punishment. I think his lack of education is the problem. If he was educated he would have served better. We do not want him anymore. He has undermined the people. He must just step down.
Thabisile Mathe, 25
Our country is in a bad state, and those millions he decided to build his home with could have been invested in education. It’s things like this that made me decide not to vote. You cannot vote if there is no change but one person is getting richer. I am so unhappy. I am not happy at all. I am less interested in politics. If I was to vote, this would definitely affect where my vote goes. I did not get a chance to watch the report, but I am keeping my vote to myself.
Tshepo Mosime, 30
It bores me. It just does not make sense. You can’t renovate for yourself while your neigbours are suffering. He is just stupid. He only thought about the future of his family. I mean, he is the president. He should have thought about the street kids first, like what they are wearing and eating. This was stupidity. I do not see his role. He is useless. R250-million is a lot of money and it can do so much. I do not think they will vote for him these elections. People do not want him. He must go back to Nkandla. We need a president who is wise and can reason.