Dear Mr President

I first wrote to you in 2012 asking you to take responsibility for your allegedly corrupt actions. Since then there’s been Guptagate, Public Protector spats, employment opportunities for your family, and Nkandlagate. You have operated with impunity, shifting the blame and avoiding responsibility.

I know this letter will cause many to think that I have an evil political agenda to publically defame you. I am a normal 22-year-old South African who happens to be extremely pissed off at you.

We live in a sick society, where corruption has become the norm. This is not directly your fault, but I think you should lead by example.

This year was the first time that I could vote, but I did not vote for you because I do not have faith in your leadership, I think your track record of being implicated in corruption and fraud scandals is appalling, and your disrespect towards chapter nine institutions and taxpayers says a lot about your character and how you view your office.

You could call me the ungrateful child in the family. I was born with the silver spoon in my mouth and I still complain. But I say this strongly – the fact that you and others fought for the freedom of this country does not give you the right to abuse its resources and people. It does not give you the right to waste taxpayers’ money and certainly not the right to think that you are above the law.

Today’s hostile political environment is similar to many family situations in this country. You, the absent father, are going through a major divorce battle with the over-protective mom, public protector Thuli Madonsela, who wants you to pay your maintenance.

So like some fathers in South Africa who avoid responsibility to their children, you have walked out on the family.

Mr President, writing this letter to you is difficult, these days it is tough to speak one’s mind without being labelled as an agent of some sort.

I’m sure you know that you will not be remembered fondly in our history, but it is never too late to change public perceptions. Perhaps you could start by spending your own hard-earned money on upgrading your home.

The fact that you loosely spent the money of hard-working citizens on ridiculous upgrades is why so many are angry at you. You cannot avoid your responsibility in this situation – pay back the money. It was not yours to spend in the first place. I appeal to you for the last time to set a good example and do the right thing.

Kavisha Piillay

• Pillay is Corruption Watch's digital communities manager.

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Excerpt
Corruption Watch’s Kavisha Pillay wrote an open letter to President Jacob Zuma in 2012. In the two years since, the matters she raised then were not addressed, and new ones have arisen. Pillay follows up that letter with a newly-penned piece to the president.