EMBATTLED Masilonyana Local Municipality mayor, Stephen Koalane, would not comment after the Bloemfontein High Court had ruled against its bid to prevent the DA from supplying water to desperate residents in Brandfort. He said they would first study last Thursday’s (21/07) high court judgement granted in favour of the rival party DA, which described the outcome as victory for people of the Free State. On Monday, 18 July, the beleaguered ANC-led municipality (formed by the five small towns Brandford, Soutpan, Theunissen, Verkeerdevlei and Winburg) applied for an interdict citing that the DA did not receive permission from the authority to supply water to residents of Brandfort. The mayor had further accused the DA of using the municipality’s water crisis to campaign for the upcoming local government election by supplying water to residents allegedly in branded water tankers. Judge Fouché Jordaan, who presided over the matter, handed down judgement after hearing arguments by advocates representing the two opposing parties, Luyanda Nyangiwe (Masilonyana Municipality) and Nick Ferreira (DA). Nyangiwe argued that the water the DA had provided to vulnerable groups, including children, could possibly have been contaminated. He further stressed that the water needed to have been tested to ensure it was safe for use. Nyangiwe argued strongly that the DA had contravened the Water Service Act. Ferreira pointed out that since 2015 the municipality had always been aware that the DA had provided water to residents and that the ANC-led municipality had not objected to this, until last Monday (18/07). He said it was pure speculation by the municipality that there had been anything wrong with water being supplied to residents, adding that the water was from boreholes, “so there is no risk,” Ferreira argued.Judge Jordaan could not find any convincing reasons for the interdict to be granted and also questioned the urgency with which the ANC-led municipality brought the matter to court. He dismissed the application with costs”. The DA stated that in supplying water to stranded residents it had also helped the very same “most vulnerable” residents the applicant had been referring to. It also pointed out that the vulnerable residents had for some times gone without water. Two days later the provincial DA leadership, led by Patricia Kopane returned to Brandfort (on 22 July) to celebrate the favourable judgement and to address them. “This is not just a victory for Masilonyana residents, but a victory for all the people of the Free State who continue to suffer under the hands of an uncaring ANC-led government. This shows how uncaring the ANC is. Instead of joining the DA in providing you with water, they take us to court so that we cannot offer you water. They have used public money to fight us in court. They clearly like it when you struggle because it keeps you in a position to beg from them. Strangely, they do not have money to fix their ageing infrastructure so that they can supply you with water, but they do have money to take the DA to court to stop us from delivering water,” said Kopane, addressing Brandfort residents. She said the DA would deliver water to residents for as long as they needed it, whether it was election time or not.