Not long past, AfriForum agitated that the erection of Zuma’s R6M statue in Groot Marico, North West isn’t ideal because the millions the government of the province wants to spend on the project “could be applied in a far better manner.”
Then, Hendrik Oosthuizen, AfriForum’s District Coordinator for North West uttered that the erection of Zuma’s R6M statue is entirely inappropriate considering the high levels of corruption and poverty in South Africa.
The District Coordinator charged that a statue of President Zuma cannot be erected because of the:
- 783 charges of fraud against him;
- his involvement in Nkandla scandal where millions were unlawfully spent on his house; and
- the high unemployment level that contributes to critical circumstances and poverty.
Oosthuizen contended that the North West province should use the money it wanted to spend on the Zuma statue and:
- buy more than 100 000 bags of tar for the repair of potholes;
- appoint about 36 new police officers in North West to promote rural safety where farm murders are rampant among other crimes;
- upgrade and maintain infrastructure; pay about 1 200 unschooled workers; or pay a total of 31 new high school teachers for a year.
With that, AfriForum submitted a PAIA application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (Act No. 2 of 2000) to the office of Supra Mahumapelo, Premier of the North West.
In the application, AfriForum requested for the following information: The minutes of meetings of the Provincial Legislator, notifications in the media and all relevant documentation on the budget and cost of this project.
However, it has now emerged that the Zuma’s R6M statue project has been abandoned. According to AfriForum, the provincial government in North West confirmed that the erection of the Zuma statue will be abandoned.
Commenting on this development, Oosthuizen said: “We are convinced that the PAIA application that AfriForum submitted to request certain information concerning the erection of the statue directly led to the decision to abandon the project.”
Nevertheless, Oosthuizen acknowledged the North West Provincial Government statement on the decision to abandon the project which indicated that criticism and negative reaction of the community weren’t the reasons behind the abandonment.
In line with that, Oosthuizen said: “if a decision is made to erect this statue in future, we will again put a stop to it.”
Above all, AfriForum welcomed the decision to abandon the project upholding that it’s unwise to spend R6 million on erecting a Zuma statue. The money can be employed in much better ways, AfriForum maintained.