Maimane throws down Nelson Mandela Bay gauntlet


Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader, Mmusi Maimane, has lashed out President Jacob Zuma for what he described as “insulting the intelligence” of South Africans, following the release of Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s Nkandla report, which cleared him of paying back a portion of the R246-million spent on security upgrades.

Addressing supporters in Uitenhage’s Market Square as part of his Freedom, Fairness & Opportunity Tour on Monday, Maimane, flanked by the party’s National Federal Chairperson and Eastern Cape leader Athol Trolip, said that the report was unconstitutional and “put forward by a person who knows that they can't say anything wrong with their boss”.

“What kind of message does the Police Minister send to criminals by saying President Zuma doesn’t have to pay back a cent for Nkandla? If you and I took money that does not belong to us and build ourselves a nice house, people would not clap and cheer at our jokes in Parliament,” Maimane said.

“Instead, if you and I did the same thing probably they would ask the police to arrest us and take us to jail. To say the President does not owe us anything is a crime against the people of this country”.

Last week, Nhleko stated that Zuma could not held liable for the upgrades as the additions of a swimming pool, referred to as a fire pool, chicken run, cattle kraal and private cinema were part of security features.

“How can a swimming pool be classified as a fire pool and an amphitheatre as a place where people gather under a fire? The government is under the impression that the people of South Africa are stupid.

“We are simply here to say, President you benefited unduly and therefore you must pay back the money to the people of South Africa,” Maimane said, adding that Zuma’s breaking of the law should result in his office being relocated from the Union Buildings to prison.

Referring to the appointment of South African Football Association (SAFA) boss, Danny Jordaan, as the municipality recently selected Executive Mayor, Maimane stated that the decision was not only baffling, but an indication that the ANC had lost interest in the Metro.

“When you have a professional tsotsi at the top, it often moves down. That’s why I don’t understand his appointment. They go and call him from SAFA and say, even though there are bribe allegations against FIFA, come here and build a community of tsotsi’s.