JOHANNESBURG, South Africa
An Opposition party in South Africa the Democratic Alliance (DA), has branded the country’s ex-President Jacob Zuma move after singing an unexpected record deal as a waste of resources.
Zuma’s home province eThekwini district agreed to fund an album of protest songs sung by him, which officials said would preserve an aspect of cultural heritage.
However, this move embroiled the ex-president in a new political row with opposition parties.
Zuma 76 often sings his trademark tune, Bring Me My Machine Gun, at rallies.
According to the Local DA leader Zwakele Mncwango, the area’s government resources should be used to help young people launch careers in music.
He argued: “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,”
DA councillor Nicole Graham said the party would “fight this matter tooth and nail,” saying: “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.”
Thembinkosi Ngcobo the Chief of eThekwini’s Parks, Recreation and Culture stressed that the department had suggested signing up Mr Zuma after it failed to find any recordings of the old struggle songs.
He noted: “We were looking at artists and trying to revive these types of songs. It was very difficult,” he said. “We tried to find any archived material that had video clips or any voice clips. But we could not find anything in the museums.”
He added: “At that point, we realised Mr Zuma was often heard singing the songs.”
Ngcobo further stated that Zuma has the talent and understands the history and emotion behind the music. Zuma, he says 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.
In February 2018, the ex-president was ousted out of power by his own party the African National Congress (ANC). He is being charged with multiple corruption scandals linked to a 1990s arms deal. But, Zuma refutes any wrongdoing.