The Economic Freedom Fighters and their leader, Julius Malema, filed court papers against South African President Jacob Zuma to demand Zuma answer why he hasn’t refunded at least part of the $24 million (22 million euros) he used to renovate his rural homestead in Nkandla village.
As reported by the AFP in Yahoo News, Malema told reporters he believed the president would never answer.
“It is very clear we will never get an answer, Mr President. Let’s meet in court. We are taking him to the Constitutional Court.”
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, the country’s ombudswoman, ruled last March that President Zuma needed to pay back some of the money since she believed that Zuma and his family had benefitted unduly from the renovations done to his rural homestead.
President Jacob Zuma claimed he did nothing wrong. Many in the country are critical of the way Zuma has used state money to benefit, especially when the money was used to pay for a swimming pool, an amphitheatre, and a cattle enclosure. Twenty-one years after apartheid ended, South Africa still suffers from widespread poverty, and many believe Zuma and the African National Congress have done little to improve living conditions in South Africa.
Eyewitness News reported that Parliament is expecting a violent showdown when President Zuma appears before them to answer six questions. The last question on the list is the question proposed by Julius Malema and is expected to be the most explosive.
Twenty former police officers are on hand to make sure there is no violence. Under new parlimentary rules, anyone who disrupts the proceedings will be immediately removed. Malema’s question is scheduled for last because of the explosive nature of the question.
President Zuma has been severely criticized in the past because of his policies, particularly regarding farm murders. Critics suspect that he is responsible for inciting attacks against white farmers by singing songs like Kill the Boer at supporter rallies.
Zuma and his administration have failed to act to stem the tide of violence against farmers or reduce crime. South Africa is currently No. 1 in the world for rape, and has the highest rate of AIDS on the African Continent. Xenophobic attacks against immigrants have increased criticism from countries like Kenya. Over 1,700 farmers have been murdered since apartheid ended, and the attacks are considered racial.
The ANC’s Molato Motapo said that misconduct will not be tolerated while the parliament seeks answers from Zuma.
“The Parliamentary Protection Services will drag out whoever misbehaves even if they’re are kicking and screaming, out of the precinct of Parliament.”
Do you believe that Jacob Zuma is responsible for paying back the money? Should Parliament charge him with wrongdoing? Is there more than President Zuma and his administration could do to end the farm murders?
[Photo Credit Who’s Who South Africa]