The cattle and chickens at President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla home live in kraals and runs that cost more money than most people from Nquthu will see in their lifetime, said Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane on Wednesday.
He was speaking to DA members during his party's election campaign in Nquthu.
The Nquthu municipality was dissolved by the KwaZulu-Natal government in February after it failed to elect its office bearers, including the mayor and the speaker, since the August 3 local government elections.
"I know how hard it is to cope without the services that so many of us take for granted - without proper toilets, without school transport, and without enough taps to bring clean water," said Maimane.
Maimane said unemployment has robbed many generations of their future: "It has forced people to give up on their dreams as they struggle to just get by from day to day."
"Just a little way down the road, you will find a place that is nothing like Nquthu," he said, referring to Zuma's home in neighbouring Nkandla.
A place where there are more toilets, more taps and more lights than they could possibly use, he added.
"A place that took R250m of your money to build. You know which place I'm talking about: Nkandla. The palace of President Jacob Zuma. The monument to his corruption that fills an entire hillside while the people around him - in communities like yours - must struggle to put food on the table and a roof over their heads," Maimane said.
Maimane said that Zuma's Nkandla homestead was luxurious because of the poverty of Nqutu, adding that the money was stolen.
"And that's not just my opinion. The Public Protector's report on Nkandla found this to be true, which is why we laid charges and called for the president to face the law," Maimane added.
Maimane said almost two years ago, on August 21, 2015, the police handed over their completed investigation to the NPA, "but we are still waiting on their decision whether to prosecute Jacob Zuma".
"And when I wrote to the Acting Special Director of Public Prosecutions, Advocate [Malini] Govender, asking why there has been no action on this, his response was just: We need further investigation."
He accused the NPA of "simply stalling to protect Jacob Zuma".
Maimane encouraged the residents to use their vote as another way of holding political leaders to account.
"I'm talking about using your vote, of course. On the 24th of this month you will get to vote in a by-election for a new municipal government."
He said another reason why the Nquthu by-election was so important was that Nquthu's results in the 2016 election were extremely close.
"So close, in fact, that it made it almost impossible to get anything done here."
The only way to resolve this issue is to give the combined opposition parties a proper majority, he said.
"So that we can end corruption and start delivering basic services for you," added Maimane.
He said a vote for the DA is a vote for good, clean governance regardless of the fact that they are minority in Nquthu.
"It's a vote for freedom and opportunities, and it's a vote against corruption," he said.
Former AU chair and African National Congress NEC member Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was also in Nquthu on Wednesday.
She was accompanied by provincial deputy secretary Mluleki Ndobe and PEC member Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu during a door to door campaign in Ward 15 of Nquthu.
Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi and ANC president Jacob Zuma are expected to lead final campaigns for their parties in the area on Sunday, before the by-election on Wednesday, May 24. -- News24Wire