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Wed Oct 22 17:26:33 SAST 2014

KZN communists want law to protect 'dignity' of president

Sapa | 12 November, 2012 16:42
President Jacob Zuma during the closing session of the ANC National Policy Conference on Friday 29/06/2012 at Gallagher Estate in Midrand, Johannesburg.
Image by: KEVIN SUTHERLAND

The SACP in KwaZulu-Natal has called for a law to protect the dignity of the office of the president.

"This happens in many countries; once a person is appointed the president, some respect needs be given to that person," provincial secretary Themba Mthembu said on Monday in Durban.

"Such an office needs to be protected."

Mthembu said President Jacob Zuma had been the subject of a barrage of attacks which were unfair, and lacking in fact and truth.

"Things such as 'The Spear' painting tend to insult the president. We want to prevent criticism which is an insult to the office of the president," he said.

"They can criticise, as long as they don't insult and undermine the head of state."

The SA Communist Party condemned the visit by Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille to Zuma's private home in Nkandla.

"We believe this was cheap, political point-scoring by Zille and her stooges," Mthembu said.

Zille visited Nkandla on November 4 to "inspect" the upgrade to the president's private residence, which reportedly cost R248 million.

Mthembu said development in Nkandla was part of rural development, one of the five priority areas identified by the Polokwane conference.

"We demand that people of Nkandla should not be discriminated [against] in government programmes to develop rural areas, simply because they have the president of the Republic as one of their residents,"

The SACP said it would hold a march on Saturday in Nkandla in support of rural development.

"The purpose of the march is to demand development in rural areas to be respected and also fast tracked. We'll be saying that kind of development must be rolled out in other areas."

Areas which had been identified as priority areas for rural development included Nkandla and Msinga, Vhembe District, Limpopo and Pondoland, and the Eastern Cape, Mthembu said.

He said the extension of the president's home could be seen as part of rural development because issues which had been raised in the media included the roads built in Nkandla.

Mthembu said the SACP was worried about the price of the upgrade to Zuma's residence.

He commended the department of public works for asking the Auditor General to investigate the cost.

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