Cape Town - Western Cape Premier Helen Zille's absence at a hall for evicted Cape Town shack dwellers was surprising, Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said on Thursday.
"When I went to the community yesterday [Wednesday], I somehow half-expected to see the premier cooking for the community," she told media in Parliament.
"You know, she has become a super chef. I thought I'd find her stirring a big pot for the community there."
Sisulu was referring to a recent photo posted on Twitter, which showed a smiling Zille in her Democratic Alliance colours and domestic clothing, stirring a big pot of pap with a stick.
"When I didn't find her there, then I knew she was serious so maybe it should have happened before elections."
Asked about Sisulu's remarks, Zille described them as "just an attempt to deflect Sanral and the national department from responsibility".
"I'm not going to stoop to this kind of level," she said.
Sisulu visited the Nomzamo community hall in Strand on Wednesday evening, where illegal shack dwellers were being provided with hot meals, blankets and mattresses by the city.
Around 846 families living on SA National Road Agency Limited (Sanral) land next to the N2 highway were evicted on the basis of an interim court order, on Monday and Tuesday.
Their shacks were demolished and set alight. Many lost their personal possessions and were left with nothing but the clothes they were wearing.
Sisulu said a blame-game had played out the last few days between Sanral and the city of Cape Town.
She said neither the province nor the city wanted to take responsibility.
"They did not think it was a disaster and washed their hands of it."