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Thu Oct 23 08:34:46 SAST 2014

Zille's little stunt in Nkandla has dealt the DA a serious blow

The Times Editorial | 05 November, 2012 00:09

The Times Editorial: Helen Zille's failed march on Nkandla, President Jacob Zuma's traditional home in KwaZulu-Natal, was extremely short-sighted.

Not because Zille's DA does not have the right to raise its concerns about money from the public purse allegedly being spent to upgrade Nkandla, but because the march symbolises nothing but a cheap political stunt.

The public protector has confirmed that an investigation is under way by her office after a complaint by the DA's parliamentary leader, Lindiwe Mazibuko.

Last week, Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi said he had asked auditor-general Terence Nombembe to investigate spending on Nkandla because a lack of control within his department could have resulted in prices being inflated.

Mazibuko asked the AG's office last month to assist the public protector in her investigation.

These legitimate processes are under way.

Surely Zille will want to show her confidence and trust in these institutions and allow the investigations to run their course?

The DA, the official opposition, will not endear itself to black South Africans by launching publicity stunts instead of presenting the party as a real alternative to the ANC.

It is difficult to regard Zille's actions yesterday as a mark of courageous leadership. In fact, it appeared to be little more than a foolhardy and ill-considered attempt at attracting publicity.

There are few concerned South Africans who will dismiss Zille's questioning of the vast amount of money being spent on the president's home at a time when the country faces so many pressing problems.

But she should have waited for the investigations to be completed instead of placing herself and her party members' lives in danger.

Not clever, Ms Zille.

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