Nkandla-gate and FIFAgate took the internet by storm. On 28 May 2015, social media was set ablaze, first by the Nkandla report released by Police Minister Nathi Nhleko, and then by the shocking news that seven high-ranking FIFA officials were arrested in a hotel in Zurich.

Leading online market research agency, Columinate, seized the opportunity to do some ad hoc research on how the two events were received by the public.

An online survey conducted on 29 May garnered 487 responses from a sample of the online community. Although the survey does not reflect the opinion of the country as a whole, it does represent 11 million opinionistas of the population (AMPS 2014) who eagerly voted yes or no on statements ranging from party loyalty to untouchable presidents.

To ensure enlightened opinions, 90% of the respondents were aware of the stories with 80% of those polled saying they follow politics and 60% saying they follow world football.

As expected the feeling towards President Zuma and, his now very secure homestead, was less than favourable. Sepp Blatter didn’t score too high in the thumbs-up column either.

From the get-go president Zuma took body blows with 86% of respondents saying he should #PayBackTheMoney.

(All charts represent the % of those that agree or strongly agree with the statement)

Figure 1

Closer analysis showed sentiments toward Sepp Blatter were more or less the same as those toward Jacob Zuma, which is to say not too good. Sepp Blatter was deemed untouchable by nearly a third of the respondents, although his ‘resignation’ occurring after the poll was taken would suggest at least a degree of touch-ability.

Figure 2

The survey also divided respondents along party lines to get a clearer picture. ANC supporters had mixed feelings about Zuma with 42% saying a president deserves comfortable accommodations. However, 68% did feel he should #PayBackTheMoney.

Figure 3

Surveys like the one above help to show where the connected public’s opinion is. So whether you think president Zuma deserves a fire pool or not, or reckon the $10 million was in fact well spent in Africa – a poll like this one will give you an idea of what others are thinking. While this survey might not have the power of a swat team raiding a hotel in Zurich, it might shed light on tax payer’s opinions and hopes for politicians and officials to fulfil their duties and do the right thing.