If ANC doesn’t want Zuma, he must come back and herd his cows – Nkandla residents
DURBAN – President Jacob Zuma’s neighbours, most of whom live in squalor, have rallied behind the man they call “one of our own”. Most even believing he was entitled to millions in non-security upgrades at his Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.
They were reacting to the Constitutional Court judgment delivered on Thursday on the binding powers of the public protector.
Inkosi Simphiwe Zuma, of the Nxamalala clan in Impendle, said he was confident that Zuma would survive the storm.
“As a clan, we agree that he must pay back the money so people can stop talking about Nkandla. My questions is when someone has a wound that does not heal, even after consulting the best doctors, there is something wrong there.
“I believed that the president has been through all of these situations because there is someone that does not want him to succeed as a president.”
‘Zuma is one of our own’
Zuma said the clan should close ranks around the president because there were people who were benefiting from the president’s bad press.
“We must be strong. We knew that when he got appointed that there would be challenges. I know personally that he will get through this because he gives me the best advice.
“If the ANC no longer wants him he must come back and herd his cows, we will always be there for him.”
Ward 14 councillor Sbongiseni Bhengu said people in Nkandla were happy with the president.
“They don’t care what the media says or what the court says about Zuma, they will support him no matter what. When the president is here, people flock to his house to see him.
“Zuma is one of our own and I think that if the house was built in the suburbs, no one would have said anything. But because it is in the rural areas, it is a big thing,” said Bhengu.
Nompilo Mthembu had not even heard about the judgment because she did not have a television or a radio. When News24 told her about it she said: “To be honest with you, I know nothing about that or that house.”
Sbusiso Shange said the decision was painful: “To me the pool is a security feature because they can use the water when there is a fire,” Shange said.
He said he did not care what was said about the president – Zuma would remain his role model.
“Everyone that works deserves a beautiful house. I have visited the president many times and his house is beautiful,” he said.
A resident who lives a stone’s throw away from Zuma’s house, but who asked not to be named, said she had lived in Nkandla all her life and she could recall when there was just one mud house on the neighbouring land.
“I never knew that this house would be talked about like this,” she said.
The woman said she felt sorry for her neighbour.
“When someone builds you a house, they tell you how much it costs, but when they are pocketing some of that money they will not tell you.”
She said the project managers should tell South Africa how the money was spent.
“When they built the cattle kraal, did they think that was a security feature? If someone is doing something on my house I want to know exactly what they are doing.”
She also believed that paying for some of the non-security measures would finally put the matter to rest.
“As his neighbours, it hurts because we grew up here and saw him make a better life for himself and his family. Other presidents have nice houses, why can’t he?” News24.com
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