Nkandla: Is it just Zuma’s greed?
The Public Protector’s report on Nkandla has again unleashed a storm of anger. Radio shows and newspaper columns have been filled with people complaining about the state spending vast sums of money on upgrading the President’s private residence. Rightfully they have pointed out that it is wrong that the state spent R 248 million on the project – money which could have been spent on housing, healthcare and service delivery for the public.
But when it comes to analysing why Nkandla could happen and what it represents, however, most of the analysis has been shallow. In fact, the analysis of why the Nkandla scandal happened and what it symbolises has often taken on racist undertones or has merely been put down to the personal greed of Jacob Zuma. While Zuma has been mired in corruption scandal after corruption scandal, Nkandla points to far larger problems than simply the character of the President or his propensity towards corruption. In fact, it points towards problems associated with capitalism, its neoliberal variant, class rule, and the state.