Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Nkandla funding mystery deepens
President Jacob Zuma’s long-time friend and funder Vivian Reddy has confused rather than clarified the issue of the funding of Nkandla.
Following weekend reports which seemed to suggest Zuma may have misled Parliament about a bond on his Nkandla homestead, Reddy told the Mercury in Durban that he had helped pay for Nkandla.
“I’m very close to Nkandla. I lent the president the money to pay for the first phase and he paid it back. Now he has taken a new bond,” Reddy told the newspaper.
Yet the corruption and racketeering charge sheet that Zuma has so far managed to avoid, but which is not dissimilar to that which saw Schabir Shaik convicted, indicates that early work on Nkandla was in fact paid for by Shaik (R400 000).
The R500 000 bribe that Zuma allegedly solicited from Thales was also allegedly channelled towards paying for Nkandla.
Then in 2009 it was announced that the compound would be upgraded at a cost to taxpayers of R65 million.
This year the costs of that upgrade have rocketed to a reported R250 million.
It would seem then that the funding of Zuma’s homestead is a complex affair. But that is no excuse for obscuring the truth.
Zuma, who has mastered the art of playing the victim, says his name is being used wrongly. “My family is being undermined. Even by Honourable Members, who don't ask... what actually happened. And I feel very aggrieved”.
He added that his family is being made a laughing stock.
Whatever sympathies people may have for Zuma’s aggrieved family, this cannot override the need for the truth.
Who paid for what at Nkandla? How much was paid, and when? Where taxpayers’ money was used, was this legitimate? That’s all.