Is There a Strategy Behind the Secure Military Complex of Nkandla?


Nkandla, the homestead of President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, consists of a militarized, secure complex, sparking the idea as to whether or not there is a strategy behind this well-developed residence. Nkandla boasts three underground bunkers with air-conditioned rooms. All windows are bulletproof, and a helipad has been built. The homestead includes a military health clinic, gymnasium, and playground facilities. On the compound, there are houses for security guards, water supplies and underground parking within its bulk infrastructure.

The Nkandla scandal is yet to be resolved, and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is delayed due to failure to gain access to the property. Zuma publically agreed during December last year, to give the SIU an opportunity to investigate the accusations of wasteful public funds. It is over six months, and there is no forthcoming closure on the SIU investigation.

On January 8, 2012, Zuma led the African National Congress (ANC) leadership including thousands of supporters in singing the controversial “Kill the Boer” song. The song is ruled as hate speech by the courts of South Africa.

The ANC military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe, translates to “Spear of the Nation” and formed in alliance with the South African Communist Party to end the apartheid legacy of South Africa. The military wing still parades around in uniform and was supposed to be integrated into the South African National Defense Force. Umkhonto we Sizwe still attends all the ANC gatherings and remains an element of the ANC party.

The ANC is a political party and the logo of the party still depicts the spear of the nation. The logo is a reminder of who the party is together with their power and dominion over South Africa. The logo is a relic of their fight against the apartheid regime and their press toward democracy that still dominates the power to conquer.

Mystery surrounds the funding of the highway linking Zuma’s homestead to the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal. The funding of the project is not clearly defined, and construction of this major road will be completed between 2015 and 2016.

There are allegations that Zuma has publicly stated that the highway is his goal in regards to avenging the battle of Blood River. The Blood River war is the name given to the battle between the Zulu nation and the Voortrekkers during December 1838. The devastating casualties resulted in more than 3,000 Zulu deaths and minor injuries for the Voortrekkers who won the battle.

The singing of the banned “Kill the Boer” song by President Zuma, and not Julius Malema, ought to instigate shame that the president would resort to such defiant behavior as inciting hate speech. The singing of the song is seen as a calculated move to motivate ANC supporters to prepare for war.

The secure military complex of Nkandla, the new highways presently being built, the ANC logo and military wing Umkhonto we Sizwe still parading around in uniform all build part of the strategy of inducing anxiety. Nkandla, the homestead of Zuma, remains a mystery, and the song of hate speech is offensively un-democratic.

Opinion by Laura Oneale

South Africa – The Real Issues

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