Lwandle inquiry like a hit sqaud: Zille

By Drum Digital
15 July 2014

We knew that this committee, its establishment, composition and terms of reference raised more questions than answers.

Helen Zille has called the inquiry into the controversial eviction of Lwandle residents in the Western Cape a "political hit squad".

"Its terms of reference are primarily framed to look at whether the city of Cape Town and the Western Cape are to blame for this issue," she said on Tuesday.

"We are as keen as anyone else to establish the facts in the light of conflicting claims, but from the outset we knew that this committee, its establishment, composition and terms of reference raised more questions than answers," she said.

Zille questioned why Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu had not set up inquiries to investigate subsequent evictions in Durban, Zandspruit and Alexandra in Johannesburg.

Sisulu's spokesperson, Ndivhuwo Mabaya,  said national government had intervened after Zille and the city had gone on record to say the evictions were not their responsibility.

He said mayors in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal had taken responsibility for evictions in their respective areas.

"This is an independent inquiry led by a senior advocate.This is not a political inquiry," Mabaya said.

On June 2 and 3, about 200 illegally erected shacks were burned and demolished by the high court sheriff and police officials.

The SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral), to whom the road reserve belonged, obtained a court order to remove the people from its land.

The inquiry began its hearings in Cape Town on Monday.

Zille said the inquiry committee effectively gave the province, its human settlements department and the city one working days' notice to prepare an oral submission for later on Tuesday.

"If they were really serious about our views, they wouldn't give us one day's notice," she said.

The Lwandle inquiry was tasked with establishing who the affected residents were and why they occupied the land while there was a waiting list for the provision of government housing.

- SAPA

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