Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements Lebogang Maile. File picture: Itumeleng English English/African News Agency(ANA).

JOHANNESBURG - The DA on Wednesday said it was disappointed to learn that the Gauteng MEC for human settlements and Cogta, Lebogang Maile, has failed to cooperate with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) during an inquiry into the Alexandra Renewal Project (ARP).

On Tuesday Maile was testifying at the inquiry taking place in Braamfontein being chaired by the SAHRC and the office of the public protector. 

DA Gauteng caucus leader Solly Msimanga said: "It is alleged that MEC Maile refused to answer all the questions directed to him during an inquiry into ARP.

"It is unethical for MEC Maile to undermine a Chapter 9 institution despite having taken an oath of office to abide by the Constitution. MEC Maile’s reaction clearly indicates that he cares little about the challenges faced by the Alexandra residents as a result of the failed ARP," said Msimanga.

He said the ARP was meant to improve the lives of Alexandra residents by building dignified housing and schools, developing roads, improving sanitation and service delivery. There was nothing to show for the R1.3 billion spent on ARP.

Alexandra remains the worst township in terms of overcrowding with a high number of illegal structures and the mushrooming of illegal shacks. The residents were in desperate need of dignified housing, he said.

Msimanga said people of Alexandra have the right to know what happened to their money and the SAHRC was the only hope for them to get answers.

"SAHRC plays a critical role in this country in promoting and protecting the rights of every South African.

"Last month, l personally challenged MEC Maile to conduct an oversight where he hosts public representatives, the SAHCR and Alexandra residents on a walkabout of the areas where he alleges the money was spent," said Msimanga.

"I gave the MEC 48 hours to rise to this challenge and add credibility to his words by conducting the oversight but he has not yet responded to my call."

Msimanga said if MEC Maile had nothing to hide with regards to the role he played in ARP, why was he failing to cooperate with the SAHRC and to rise to his challenge.

African News Agency (ANA