South Africa’s former president Jacob Zuma has been accused of wasting taxpayer money to fund his new music album.
Zuma will head to the recording studio in 2019 to tape an album of ‘struggle songs’ that he sang during his days as a revolutionary fighting white minority rule.
But political opponents say using taxpayer money to fund the project makes no sense and vowed to fight it ‘tooth and nail’.
Zuma is well known for his baritone singing voice and often sung and danced with supporters at his political rallies.
He is particularly known for the song Awuleth’ Umshini Wami, which means Bring Me My Machine Gun and will be included on the album.
Zwakele Mncwango, leader of the opposition DA political party in Zuma’s home state of KwaZulu-Natal, told local site eNCA: ‘We’re for promoting of culture and heritage.
‘Our problem is when the municipality is wasting money on a former president who is trying his luck on the music industry, while we have upcoming artists who need assistance.’
Councillor Nicole Graham said that DA will ‘fight this matter tooth and nail’.
She added: ‘It is impossible that any rational person would believe that a corrupt and disgraced former president singing ANC struggle songs holds any benefit to the people of eThekwini.
‘This is about factional battles within the ANC party, with his supporters attempting to give him a continued platform after his fall.’
Thembinkosi Ngcobo, who runs the parks and recreation department in the eThekwini district, told the BBC that he came up with the idea while trying to preserve the struggle songs for posterity.
He said: ‘We were looking at artists and trying to revive these types of songs. It was very difficult.
‘We tried to find any archived material that had video clips or any voice clips. But we could not find anything in the museums.’
At that point, they realized Mr. Zuma was often heard singing the songs.
‘He has the talent and understands the history and emotion behind the music,’ Mr. Ngcobo said.
‘He was singing the songs in the 80s and 90s and even before. Most of the young people in the ANC do not even know them.’
Zuma was kicked out of office and replaced with deputy Cyril Ramaphosa in February 2018 amid a raft of corruption allegations.
He is now facing the prospect of a trial on charges of racketeering, corruption, money laundering and fraud, all of which carry heavy sentences.
This news release does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SA-news.
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