SACP cautions DA on ‘racist’ Nkandla visit

President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal as seen on 4 November 2012. It is alleged taxpayers footed the bill for most of the renovations there, amounting to more than R200 million. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

DURBAN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) insists it will take a trip to President Jacob Zuma's home in KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday, despite rising tensions there over the visit.

DA leader Helen Zille and several party leaders are expected to pay Nkandla a visit, amid fears that their trip may be marred by violence.

On Friday, the KwaZulu-Natal ANC warned Zille to “abandon her inspection or face violation from local residents”.

The national ANC has called on the opposition party to cancel its plans, while the South African Communist Party (SACP) has also condemned the visit - saying it is "racist" and provocative.

But the DA on Saturday said it would conduct an inspection of the development and surrounding roads outside the presidential compound without disturbing Zuma's family.

The SACP has strongly condemned the DA’s planned visit and accused the opposition party of having a racist agenda.

"The SACP wishes to caution that Helen Zille must take personal responsibility, together with the DA, for any consequences arising out of such racist, insensitive and extremely provocative actions," SACP spokesperson  Malesela Maleka said in a statement.

"The SACP is peeved by the ongoing DA cheap publicity stunts and reckless attempts to score political points," he added.

Maleka said the DA’s visit was an invasion of Zuma's privacy and dignity.

The ANC also slammed plans to visit the home, saying Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and Auditor General Terence Nombembe were already probing the development in Nkandla and therefore the DA should rather wait for the findings of those investigations.

“The myopic opportunistic plan of the DA undermines the investigative work that has been undertaken by the Public Protector, the Auditor General and the department of public works that seeks to clarify whether tax payer's money was used wrongly...," ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said.

But the DA’s national spokesperson, Mmusi Maimane, explained yesterday that the inspection came after it emerged that Zuma’s private home would get a face-lift costing more than R200 million , 95 percent of which would allegedly be paid by taxpayers.

According to the City Press, consultants and constructors have already been paid R203 million for the upgrades, which include underground living quarters, a health facility for the president and his family, a helicopter pad, as well as playgrounds and a centre for visitors.

Maimane said the visit was about “South Africans getting answers for themselves”.