November 25, 2012

UK gives £19million aid to South Africa - its president spends £17.5million on his palace

It is a nation racked by poverty, where 13 million people survive on less than £1 a day, and two million have no access to a toilet. 
Yet as his people struggle in squalor, South African president Jacob Zuma has sparked outrage by spending £17.5 million to upgrade his rural family home.  
Lavish works – which include the construction of 31 new houses, an underground bunker accessed by lifts and a helipad – will cost almost as much as the £19 million British taxpayers send to South Africa in annual aid.
The costly upgrade to Zuma’s once-humble home in the village of Nkandla includes Astroturf sports fields and tennis courts, a gymnasium and state-of-the art security systems, including fingerprint-controlled access pads. 
And nearby roads have benefited from a further £40 million of improvements.
When African journalists revealed the astronomical cost of the work, Zuma’s ministers turned on the whistle-blowers, saying that revealing the details of ‘top secret’ documents was illegal.
Originally the cost of the project, which began two years ago, was put at £500,000 – but it has since skyrocketed. South African taxpayers are footing most of the bill, although Zuma, a polygamist with four wives and at least 20 children, is said to be contributing £700,000 of his own money – a stretch on his annual £185,000 salary. 

    However, he also receives a controversial £1.2million in ‘spousal support’ for his wives – despite recently calling on fellow politicians to tighten their belts – and pays only a peppercorn rent of £560 on the tribally owned plot in the Zululand hills where his mansion sits.
    Zuma has named his residence a ‘national key point’ – a status invented by the previous paranoid apartheid government – which means it is entitled to security measures ‘in the interests of the nation’.

    Last week he was grilled in parliament about what he and his family were costing the nation, and struggled to answer, protesting that he was unaware of the scale of the work. 
    ‘All the buildings and every room we use in that residence were built by ourselves as family and not by the government,’ he protested. He did not know the amount spent on bunkers, claiming: ‘I don’t know the figures; that’s not my job.’
    Under pressure, Zuma has been forced to agree to two investigations: one to probe the spiralling costs at Nkandla, the other to see if there was a breach of parliamentary spending rules.

    ‘Nkandlagate’ – as the state-owned media have been banned from calling it – is just the latest scandal to engulf the 70-year-old African National Congress leader. In 2004 he faced trial with his financial adviser Schabir Shaik over racketeering and corruption claims for accepting tens of thousands of pounds in bribes from European arms firms. 

    Shaik was imprisoned for 15 years, but Zuma’s case was ‘discontinued’ after complicated legal wrangling – even though a judge said there was ‘overwhelming’ evidence of a corrupt relationship between the two men.The following year, a 31-year-old HIV-positive woman accused him of rape. Although he was acquitted, Zuma’s ludicrous claim that he took a shower after sex to prevent contracting HIV made him a laughing stock.

    His personal life also came under scrutiny following the 2000 suicide of his first wife, who left a note describing ‘24 years of hell’ with him, and again after the illegitimate birth of another child in 2009. He accused the media of invading his privacy when revealing the scandal.
    Meanwhile, South Africa is in an increasingly parlous state, having had its credit rating downgraded following industrial unrest. Workers at the Marikana platinum mine were mown down and killed by armed police last month when they dared to demand better pay. A truck-drivers’ strike later led to more deaths, and last week thousands of farmworkers downed tools in protest at their £4.85 day-rate.

    Yet Zuma – who glories in his nickname ‘100 per cent Zulu boy’ – still has substantial support among the people, bolstered by his freedom-fighter credentials, having spent ten years imprisoned on Robben Island alongside Nelson Mandela.
    Britain is committed to spending an average of £19 million a year in aid on South Africa until 2015, mainly aimed at reducing HIV. But the Department for International Development is examining how it spends the UK’s aid budget, and recently announced plans to slash the controversial £280 million a year it sends to India.


    1. Begs to wonder, maybe the old South Africa was not so bad. No president back then would have got away with that and not look after the people of the country that helped put them in power.

    2. ANC = Arrogance, Nepotism, Corruption.

      1. AGREE - with the ANC statement,
        Old SA's Government was better, less corruption, all had decent roads, running water and cheap electricity.. even Petrol was cheap back then

    3. Hopefully this piece of shit will die of AIDs or such like..

    4. As usual one rule for them and one rule for the rest of us...

    5. Dream this, if you can...all men can see deception. From afar, from before, and after the fact. No deceiver can ever again trick others to believe that he is the answer, and therefore kill there spirit and dreams.

      All deception is the murder of the dreams of men. Never forget that. The evolution of men is the psychic ability to determine all things of other men. Animals, even bacteria can sense changes instantly. Why can't the most intellectual species of planet earth.

      Help and dream...

    6. This git learnt his craft from politicians who Run the world.
      Not surprising, at all!!

    7. Despite all this, President Zuma has a good chance of being re-elected, unless other comrades feel it's their turn at the trough


    8. To all fellow South Africans - Is this really the way we want this beautiful country of ours to go? Our dream in 1994 to live together as equals with all being equal, has died at the hands of this man and this political party which, unfortunately, has gone from what Madiba wanted to a government of corruption, lies, greed and all that is ugly. They are not building unity, they are not enriching the lives of those of us that are poor, they are not doing anything for anyone but themselves and costs have soared!! I have yet to hear of these 'poor souls' that were found to be corrupt, all sitting in jail for life and all that they have acquired being taken from them. Cry Our Beloved Country!!