Minister accused of campaigning at government event

BY CHARL BOSCH - JULY 20, 2016

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has said it would approach the office of the Public Protector to investigate allegations of political campaigning by Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu at a government event in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Sisulu, along with her Deputy Zou Kota-Fredericks, handed out title deeds in Missionvale on Tuesday afternoon while being accompanied by Executive Mayor and Metro Mayoral Candidate Danny Jordaan.

In a statement, DA Shadow Minister of Human Settlements Makashule Gana said pictures taken at the event show a large number of people dressed in African National Congress (ANC) regalia attending an official department event, amounting to an abuse of state resources as outlined by the Constitutuion.

“If the ANC government did what it promised the people of South Africa, it would not have to stoop as low as using bread and butter issues to manipulate the poor and vulnerable into voting for them,” Gana said.

“That Minister Sisulu has implicated herself in this abuse of State resources in defiance of the Constitution and in defiance of a Public Protector report slating this conflation of party and State is indicative of the contempt the ANC and its governments have for the Rule of Law”.

Describing the handing over of the title deeds as nothing but a publicity stunt before the August third local government elections, Gana said the housing blacklog in the Metro, which stand at 80 000 units, is further proof that the ruling party has failed to deliver despite numerous promises.

“It adds insult to injury to dangle title deeds in the faces of thousands of poor people made even more destitute by the governments’ inability to serve its people,” he said.

“The ANC has changed and is no longer a party that truly cares for the people but one that uses the vulnerabilities of the poor to cling onto power while using State resources that are to benefit all South Africans all the times and not just in the election season”.

Speaking to RNEWS after the formal handover, Sisulu acknowledged that a backlog is being experienced, but that the department hopes to have it cleared as soon as possible.

“The very nature of giving out a legal document requires very clear steps to be taken. In some cases, we have discovered that the original beneficiary still lives in the house but has since sold it which stalls the process. We however hope that by the time we come to elections, we will have cleared the backlogs in the whole of Port Elizabeth”, she said.