Ricochet News

DA: 'Blatant intimidation by Chris Hani officials will not deter us'

Jan 27, 2020
DA: 'Blatant intimidation by Chris Hani officials will not deter us'

Cradock - The Democratic Alliance on Monday said that it will not allow blatant intimidation to derail our attempts to hold officials to account and ensure that the people of Cradock are not exposed to raw sewage in their drinking water.

"This follows after a senior official from the Chris Hani District Municipality deliberately, and with malice, locked me inside the Cradock Waste Water Treatment Works, while I was conducting an official oversight," said Retief Odendaal, MPL - EC Midlands Constituency Leader.

"This was done in the presence of police officers and security.

"The official, whose name is known to me, then left the premises, taking the keys with him, resulting in me being detained against my will for close on an hour."

Odendaal said that these actions can only be seen as a deliberate attempt to intimidate me and prevent me from fulfilling his role as a member of the provincial legislature and holding these officials to account.

"It follows after an initial oversight inspection at the WWTW last year revealed that the plant had come to a complete standstill and raw effluent was pouring into the Great Fish River.

"The discharge of raw sewage into a natural water resource is illegal in terms of the Constitution, the National Environmental Management Act No. 107 of 1998 and the National Water Act No. 36 of 1998," he said.

"Despite several attempts by myself to get the municipality to take action, nothing was done and I was forced to lay criminal charges against the Municipality and its Acting Municipal Manager, Dr Bhekisisa Mthembu."

Odendaal said that the municipality’s inaction has also led to the SA Human Rights Commission confirming that they will investigate, as the raw effluent is contaminating drinking water.

"Sadly, Friday's oversight has shown that the situation remains the same, and the promises from the Chris Hani District Municipality mean absolutely nothing," he added.

"The plant is still not operational and there is still raw sewage flowing into the Great Fish River.

"I am extremely shocked that the municipality will go to these levels of intimidation when I am simply trying to assist the people of Cradock."

Follow more RNEWS articles, subscribe to our YouTube channel and for breaking news LIKE us on Facebook. For news on the Western Cape click here.

For great savings on life’s little pleasures visit Bargain Buys!  Know somebody who is getting married, Wedding and Function can assist.  Have kids, then you need to visit Kids Connection. Enjoy food and travel, then visit Home Food and Travel. Need assistance with an online presence, visit Agency One.