A report tabled on Thursday by eThekwini parks head Thembinkosi Ngcobo before eThekwini’s community service committee has detailed plans to incorporate former president Jacob Zuma in the municipality’s upcoming 25 years of democracy celebrations to the tune of R200,000.
The event, set to take place later this month, reportedly plans to see JZ documenting struggle songs with various artists that are yet to be named.
According to IOL, the event, set to take place in April, plans to see Zuma documenting struggle songs with various artists that are yet to be named. An activity for which they will be reportedly paid more than R200,000 in honorarium payments, as per the report.
All-in-all, the eThekwini Municipality has set aside a budget of R1 million for the entire event.
Ngcobo had previously shared his plans to pay for Zuma to record a Maskandi album containing struggle songs but his plans were short-lived. eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede told the city’s executive committee that the city had no plans to record said CD, reports IOL.
Ngcobo has justified this event as part of the “Liberation Heritage Routes Project” bourne out of a two-day symposium hosted by the uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) in Durban back in 2009.
According to the eThekwini parks head, the aim of said event was to preserve the liberation heritage history in Durban.
“The overall objective of this project is to coordinate the collection and collecting of information about the experiences of former liberation struggle soldiers, including Zuma and other former presidents. This project focuses on researching, documenting, analysing, and preserving the heritage of struggle heroes and heroines,” explained Ngcobo.
The DA’s eThekwini representation rejected the report, which they labelled “pre-election grandstanding” before they walked out of the sitting.
In a statement on Thursday afternoon, caucus leader Nicole Graham said the proposal seemed like nothing more than an ANC function paid for by ratepayers.
“Whilst the DA takes no issue with honouring the history of the country, there is a clear difference between party political events and events that should be paid for by the public.
“This report makes repeated mentions of former president Jacob Zuma, repeatedly using language that praises the ANC. It is riddled with factual errors and goes as far as to state that the ‘country is abuzz with the renewal of the ANC’. It claims the seminar is a result of meetings with the MK Veterans and various tripartite partners.
“Financial amounts are allocated for honorariums to be paid to ‘various icons and artists’, including former president JG Zuma. This was amended verbally by Parks Head Thembinkosi Ngcobo, who claimed the disgraced former president was ‘priceless’ and did not want to be paid.
“The DA believes this is a blatant attempt to try and focus the public’s attention on the history of the ANC ahead of the election, rather than its poor record in government in eThekwini.
“Not a single cent of ratepayers’ money should be spent on ANC programs, especially those that idolise a man who has used his public office to loot the public purse or push millions of more South Africans into unemployment queues.”
The report was adopted by the ANC’s majority vote.
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