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KZN premier rubbishes viral video showing tanker delivering water at his home as ‘digitally manipulated’

Published Apr 18, 2022

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KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has hit back at a video showing a water tanker delivering water to his home while many areas in the province have not had sufficient water delivery following last week’s devastating floods.

In the video, first posted on TikTok by user Riyashan Owen Pather, an eThekwini Municipality water tanker is seen outside the premier’s Durban North home apparently offloading water.

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The TikTok user says that the area of La Mercy cannot get a tanker to deliver water to homes but a tanker is outside Zikalala’s private home.

The video has been viewed over 33 000 times on TikTok and shared countless times on other social media platforms

@riyashanowenpather

♬ original sound - Riyashan Owen Pather

Thousands of people living in areas north of Durban have been left without water following the destruction of vital infrastructure that carries water to homes.

Addressing the media on Sunday, Zikalala dismissed as “baseless and contemptuous” the false allegations.

In statement, the premier’s office said the video was “digitally manipulated”.

“The video is carefully choreographed and strategically selected to create a false narrative to distract from the intervention the premier did first to communities in his neighbourhood who asked him for assistance knowing he lived in the area,” the statement said.

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“The premier, like the rest of the community, had been without water but this did not deter him from leading the current disaster.

“The premier has been on the ground since the day disaster struck”.

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Zikalala said: “What that video does not show or fails to mention is that I was approached by members of the community who had been struggling due to a shortage of water as a result of the floods.

“I together with the community have gone for days without water. I then requested assistance after members of the community pleaded for my assistance knowing I lived in the area.

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“Actually all the other days my wife and kids had been fetching water on buckets.

“To me this is not new as I grew up fetching water and I still do today when situations demand.

“We did eventually receive a response and the tanker came to the area.

“The video fails to mention that the tanker actually provided water to the local residents and supplied many of them with the much-needed water before also filling at my home.

“Now, for this person to present the video in a way that implies that only my family got the water is blatant propaganda, uncalled-for, mischievous and malicious.

“It is disingenuous, and certainly something that must be viewed with the contempt that it deserves,” Zikalala said.

He said the video was intended to distract and continue the campaign of creating a trust deficit between us as leaders and the people. The intended purpose is to peddle falsehoods.

“We have all been deeply affected by this disaster but the community will always come first. In fact, before the tanker arrived in our neighbourhood, my wife had personally gone to fetch water and carried a buckets on her own. She has also actively been providing food supplies and necessities to people who are being housed at the local community hall after losing their homes.

“That positive work we have been doing is ignored by the agent provocateurs whose sole intention is to besmirch and demonise me and my family. It is most unfortunate but we understand it’s the price we have to pay for leadership.

“These sideshows will never deter us or defocus us from the task at hand. Lies and it’s short legs will soon be exposed,” he said.

IOL

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