Cape Town - Western Cape premier Helen Zille should have taken responsibility for Lwandle residents from day one, Human Settlement Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said on Monday.
“The premier and the mayor (Patricia de Lille) stood and watched for three days. She told everyone that is not her problem. The mayor also said it was not her problem. We as the ANC government came in to find a solution,” Sisulu said in a statement.
Writing on SA Today newsletter, Zille suggested that politics were behind the eviction of Lwandle shack dwellers.
“The 2016 local election campaign has begun. That is the prism through which to understand the Lwandle occupations and evictions,” she said in the newsletter, published on the Democratic Alliance website.
Sisulu said Zille and De Lille were “politicking” about the composition of the inquiry into Lwandle evictions, instead of concentrating on the people of Lwandle who had a hall as a shelter.
More than 800 families living on SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) land next to the N2 highway in Lwandle, near Somerset West, were evicted on Monday and Tuesday last week because of an interim court order.
Their shacks were demolished and set alight. Many lost their personal possessions and were left with nothing but the clothes they were wearing.
Sisulu last week announced the establishment of an inquiry into the removals.
The SA Human Rights Commission said on Sunday it was also investigating the evictions.