The Democratic Alliance (DA) claims that the African National Congress (ANC) that governs the Ingquza Hill Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape destroyed 37 homes that had furniture and personal belongings of the residents.
The party’s Phesheya Kwenciba leader Veliswa Mvenya said they made the discovery during their oversight visit on Monday.
“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.
“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. The Grahamstown High Court granted a court order in October last year ordering Ingquza Hill Municipality to rebuild the houses.”
Mvenya said the residents were told to move to Ward 15, where shacks “resembling toilets” were built by the municipality for them to live in.
“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.”
Mvenya said she has since written a letter to MEC Xasa, and given him seven days to respond on what he intends to do about the situation.
“If he does not respond, we will take the issue further with the Human Rights Commission. The ANC government only care about our people when it comes to elections.”