South African President Jacob Zuma has protection from the mighty African National Congress (ANC) governing party. In the wake of the recently released Nkandla report, there is speculation that Zuma will once again be let off the hook.
This week the Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, released her finding on the Nkandla scandal and found that Zuma benefited from more than ZAR215 million security upgrades. The upgrades to the Zuma family homestead, Nkandla, were leaked last year and caused the investigation to intensify with the final ruling this week showing an exceptionally high unnecessary expenditure.
While the Public Protector was not the only department to investigate the Nkandla findings, the security cluster ministers from the government who are well positioned within the National Executive Council (NEC) of the ANC submitted a report.
A meeting is scheduled this coming week for the ANC’s NEC to congregate and some ANC leaders have said the Nkandla information will get some attention. There are other pressing issues to discuss at this meeting.
Jacob Zuma will face the ANC this coming week and is not likely to be reprimanded for the Nkandla upgrade. The security ministerial task team report will gain precedence over the Public Protector’s report. This report did not find Jacob Zuma guilty of any wrongdoing.
The NEC meeting will not experience any rebellion against Zuma over the findings as both reports concluded that the state did not spend any money on the Nkandla homestead. No political involvement was established in the report.
The NEC members will put more emphasis on the security report rather than the Public Protector’s report. An ANC leader did not foresee any members of the NEC lambasting the president over the Nkandla Report.
Since the final report was made final, Jacob Zuma has received numerous supports from within the ANC structures, and other political parties. The ANC Women’s League stated as there were no significant differences with the Public Protector’s report to the government’s report, Zuma is cleared of any wrongdoing.
The ANC youth League attacked Madonsela for the findings of this report rather than dealing with the aspect of the report critical to Zuma’s reputation. The Military Veterans Association Chairman of Umkhonto we Sizwe Kebby Maphatsoe said Madonsela worked for opposition parties.
The South African Communist Party (SACP) supported Jacob Zuma has slated the timing of the release and the length of time it took to complete. The SACP went on to say that, opposition parties calling for the impeachment of Zuma and bringing criminal charges against him is wrong. The SACP secretary Jacob Mamabolo said, everyone including the oppositions parties were jumping to conclusions based on an indecisive report.
A South African Newspaper concluded a survey, and the results showed a possibility of the ANC winning another two-thirds majority in the upcoming elections. The survey was completed before the release of the Nkandla report. Voters, according to this survey, found the Jacob Zuma drama not an ANC matter.
Thabo Mbeki, the second ANC president of South Africa was recalled a few months before the 2009 national election because of his involvement in the arms deal and blunder over the AID virus. Mbeki proved to be a more suitable leader than Zuma. The ANC will not repeat the same action of recalling Zuma based on the public protector’s findings. Jacob Zuma is under the protection of the mighty ANC.
The upcoming election will be an enormous challenge for the voters to change their political allegiance from the ANC to an opposing party. It will take courage and honesty to do so.
This new drama in the life of Jacob Zuma will not affect his position within the ANC, and he will remain the leader based on the mighty protection he has from the ministers of the NEC.
By Laura Oneale