Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Picture: SIPHIWE SIBEKO, REUTERS
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Picture: SIPHIWE SIBEKO, REUTERS

How short our memories are. Sydney Kaye’s contention that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma “had not been involved in any scandal before 2017,” must be challenged (The wrong choice, December 5).

In April 1995 Dlamini-Zuma, then serving as health minister, awarded a R14.27m contract to her friend, Mbongeni Ngema, without after the required tender procedures. In terms of the contract Ngema undertook to produce a sequel to the popular musical SarafinaSarafina II, as it was to be known, was intended to tour SA carrying a strong anti-Aids message aimed at the youth.

The musical never hit the stage and the money was squandered.  Dlamini-Zuma lied to parliament and refused to account for her profligacy. Unfortunately for taxpayers, and fortunately for her, then president Nelson Mandela protected her and she remained unjustifiably exculpate.

In today’s money I estimate that Dlamini-Zuma blew at least R50m of our money. Gareth van Onselen who wrote an excellent analysis of the scandal for Business Day in April 2016, labelled Dlamini-Zuma’s Sarafina II the original Nkandla.

Sarafina II was the first big corruption scandal to hit our new democratic government, and coming within a year of taking office it opened the door for bigger and more numerous cases of corruption.

Gunvant Govindjee

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