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DA threatens to approach Human Rights Commission over Lusikisiki house demolitions

Oct 18, 2017
DA threatens to approach Human Rights Commission over Lusikisiki house demolitions

During an oversight visit on Monday, in New Rest village in Lusikisiki, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape said that it found 37 houses demolished by the municipality, containing furniture and personal belongings of residents.

"It is alleged that the residents were ordered by armed men to leave with their children only. They watched as their furniture and homes were destroyed, unable to do anything as they were threatened with firearms," described Veliswa Mvenya, the DA's Phesheya Kwenciba Constituency Leader.

"The residents have sought assistance from Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) MEC, Fikile Xasa, Premier Phumullo Masualle and Minister of COGTA, Des van Rooyen, but to no avail."

She said that the Grahamstown High Court granted a court order in October last year ordering Ingquza Hill Municipality to rebuild the houses.

"Residents were told to move to ward 15 where shacks resembling toilets were built by the municipality for them to live in, situated a few kilometres away from New Rest (ward 19) where their homes were demolished," Mveya added.

"The temporary structures are in a dire state, with one window at the back and no windows in front.

'The affected locals are living in terrible conditions; the same residents who once owned proper furnished houses.

"It is appalling that a rural council that understands the effects of poverty could treat their voters this way. The affected residents’ human rights have been violated and their dignity has been dragged to the ground."

She said that she has written to the MEC for CoGTA, Fikile Xasa, and given him seven days to inform them what he intends to do about this dreadful situation.

"If he does not respond, we will take the issue further with the Human Rights Commission," Mveya threatened.

"The ANC government only care about our people when it comes to elections. This incident shows their true colours making it clear that the people of the Eastern Cape need a new beginning under a caring DA government."