Kimberley - While images and sound bites of the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) demand to President Jacob Zuma to “pay back the money” have gone viral, the catchy phrase has now also become the theme of a national campaign.
EFF MPL’s, led by “Commander in Chief” Julius Malema, caused drama in the National Assembly about two weeks ago when they broke into song and started chanting “pay back the money” after asking Zuma when he would be paying back the money spent on upgrading his private Nkandla home. The outburst prompted a shouting match with the National Assembly Speaker, Baleka Mbete.
The EFF in the Northern Cape was on Wednesday busy distributing thousands of stickers with the message “EFF Demands Zuma Pay Back the Money”.
Various lamp poles and traffic lights in the city already displayed the message.
Provincial EFF spokesperson, Mary Tongwale, said the stickers were only the start of the campaign that aimed to hold Zuma responsible for paying back the money he “took from the poor”.
“We are starting small but will continue demanding that he (Zuma) pay back the money, in respect of the poor in this country. Our message is clear and understandable and speaks to the normal man on the street,” Tongwale said.
She said that the stickers had been extremely well received by the people of the Northern Cape
Tongwale added that the campaign would also involve the branding of cars with the now iconic phrase.
She also said that the president could have resolved the issue in Kuruman, where violent protests have kept roughly 20 000 learners out of school, by building a road with the money he needed to pay back.
The Nkandla upgrades came under heavy criticism in a report by the Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, in March.
Madonsela’s report said Zuma had “benefitted unduly” from some of the upgrades, which included a cattle enclosure and amphitheatre and he should pay back some of the costs of the unnecessary renovations.
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