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15 November 2001
All aboard! Buthelezi first class please!

This week I look at the gravy train again with non other than Magosuthu Buthelezi, being a first class passenger for some time now, it seems. It is amazing how all provinces are lately totally "cash-strapped". My place of residence, the new Mogale City was in the black to the tune of four million Rand before the ANC took control of the city. This was when it was still known as Krugersdorp. Now we've joined the ranks of broke!

The IFP president has cost Kwa-Zulu Natal more than a million Rand a year since 1994 for the upkeep of his private house and an office in Ulundi. Last year the province paid five hundred and forty thousand for telephones, two hundred and seven thousand for electricity and believe it, two hundred and ten thousand six hundred on gardening services. General maintenance came to close on another half million and cleaning services a further hundred and eighty seven thousand.

Buthelezi is the Minister of Home Affairs. In this capacity he has an official residence (and offices) in Pretoria and Cape Town. Now what the heck does he need the taxpayers' money for with the fat-cat salary that comes with his position?
The Ulundi offices have been used since his days as chief minister of the Kwa-Zulu homeland government. This does not exist anymore in the new and improved South Africa. Why still keep and use these offices?

Last year the province paid over a hundred thousand Rand for landscaping at Buthelezi's house, thirty thousand for fuel for his generator (doesn't trust Escom, does he?), and the repair of his cold room and upkeep of his borehole. Wonder if he's being taxed on the borehole? The airconditioning (black attracks the sun, remember) cost another twelve hundred to repair and of course, in spite of the warm climate, the pool had to be heated at the cost of close on nineteen grand.

Every year, since 1996, these expenses have been questioned. Especially in light of the 1.2 billion debt the province have been in. Now there are lots of arguments why. The most popular (and accepted) reason being that he is a traditional leader of high profile. Once again our constitution that's costing us more money than what there is people to pay for. The constitution makes provision for traditional leaders, keeping them safe and rich. Buthelezi is the chairman of the House of Traditional Leaders. This justifies the total expenditure of close on seven million Rand on the offices of Home Affairs in Kwa-Zulu Natal and on the House of Traditional Leaders. Since 1994, over six million have been spent on Buthelezi's Home Affairs and another four million on the traditional leaders offices.

"All this is relevant for peace and harmony in the province". This was the official response from the provinces' MEC Nyanga Ngubane. Home Affairs say that there are only two official ministerial offices in the country. Ulundi isn't one of them. It is also clearly stated that no matter what happens to Buthelezi in his official capacity, the situation as is will never change. What a 'friggin' cheak. This is a slap in the face of every taxpaying citizen of this country. We won't even get into transport costs as I am sure all of these fat-cats are driving the latest and greatest four wheel drive vehicles with the standard excuse that the roads are bad and most of 'their' people can't be reached without these vehicles. 

Stop spending so much bloody money and fix the bloody roads!

A sad case of 'lost interest'. Three hundred kilometers north of Durban is a town called Paulpietersburg, who's mayor was dubbed the laziest mayor in the country. This man has been absent from work for nine months! He got fired but still remains a councillor. This town is a DA/IFP stronghold so needless to say, the ANC wants an immediate investigation into the ex-mayor's "ill-health" claims. What concerns me the most, is that this man is white!