Gap­ing hole in Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s res­i­dence


While there has been much fuss about the se­cu­rity at South African Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s per­sonal abode at Nkandla, things have fallen apart on that front at his of­fi­cial provin­cial res­i­dence in KwaZulu-Natal.

There is a gap­ing hole in the 4-me­tre-high, mul­ti­mil­lion-rand bul­let-proof se­cu­rity fence erected in 2009 to beef up se­cu­rity around the his­toric John L. Dube House – for­merly King’s House – in Morn­ing­side, Dur­ban.

The fence, part of an in­stal­la­tion that was be­lieved to have cost tax­pay­ers R50 mil­lion, has been in that state since Christ­mas, ac­cord­ing to read­ers who tipped off The In­de­pen­dent. One of the many pan­els it is made up of has come loose and col­lapsed be­side a clump of bam­boo trees on the East­bourne Road side of the property. The elec­tric wiring run­ning along the top of the fence has also been dam­aged. The spe­cial fence, set 10.7 me­tres away from the much lower ex­te­rior fence, was deemed nec­es­sary for Zuma’s safety, ac­cord­ing to the Depart­ment of Pub­lic Works.

DA spokes­woman on Safety and Se­cu­rity, Diane Kohler Barnard, said it ap­peared that there was no se­cu­rity left at the res­i­dence. It gives the in­di­ca­tion that if the fenc­ing is al­lowed to col­lapse, there’s no se­cu­rity. The place could have been bro­ken into and van­dalised. “We don’t know. Cer­tainly, there’s no se­cu­rity left.”

John L. Dube House, which is on a 5.26-hectare property, dates back to 1872, ac­cord­ing to the web­site of the Pres­i­dency. “King’s House lived up to its name from the be­gin­ning. In 1906 it wel­comed its first royal guests when their royal high­nesses the Duke and Duchess of Con­naught and Princess Pa­tri­cia paid a quick visit to Dur­ban,” read the site.

“On May 17,2012, Pres­i­dent Zuma re­named King’s House Dr John L Dube House, af­ter the highly re­garded ed­u­ca­tion­ist, jour­nal­ist and first Pres­i­dent of the rul­ing ANC, Dr John Lan­gal­ibalele Dube.”

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