Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

13 January 2014

South Africa: Analysis - Nkandla's Roads Belong to People of South Africa

analysis

As a nation we like to discuss our rights, and how they all devolve from the Constitution. Perhaps our favourite rights are those to freedom of expression, association and movement. Those are a major part of what make us a free country.

However, there are times when control of the state apparatus is too tempting for those who control the levers of state power. And whenever that power is abused, there will be a reaction that would be far worse than what was trying to be avoided. In this case, it's about Julius Malema, Nkandla, and the right to use public roads. And if those roads are not kept public, our democracy will be very much poorer.

On Saturday, while President Jacob Zuma was speaking to a packed, disciplined, and possibly controlled crowd at the Mbombela Stadium, a typically Malema-esque drama was playing out around his home. Malema had decided to go and hand over a house to one of Zuma's neighbours.

It's good politics. He would get to contrast the "museum to corruption" where our Number One family lives, to the tiny structure that a much poorer family occupies. It would also create a confrontation. And...

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