The DA has hit back at the ANC after the ruling party said the eviction of people from the Lwandle informal settlement in Cape Town was because residents were being punished for not voting DA in the elections.
“The African National Congress condemns the eviction… by the Cape Town metro without being given alternative accommodation as required by the law,” said ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa in a statement.
“This is tantamount to undermining democracy and the freedom of choice by the DA metro.”
The DA rubbished these statements calling them inaccurate, and added that the onus lies on the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) and the Department of Transport.
“Attempts by the ANC to scapegoat the forced eviction of people from the Lwandle informal settlement in Strand, Cape Town, by blaming the DA is nothing short of cheap and petty politicking,” read a statement by DA National Spokesperson Phumzile Van Damme.
“It is entirely disingenuous and in no way accurate.”
“Responsibility for the evictions squarely lies with Sanral and the national Department of Transport. Indeed, it is nationally owned land and they sought the court interdict themselves,” she said.
The DA further said that Sanral, which is a national state entity, enforced an interdict against the people occupying the land through the Sheriff of the Court.
The ANC said that the party had contacted the national transport department, who owned the land, and the human settlements department to intervene on behalf of the community.
“We have been assured that teams have already been dispatched by the national government to investigate what options of intervention can be considered,” said Kodwa.
“This once more proves that the DA does not care for the poor.”
The DA on the other hand said that the Minister of Transport, Dipuo Peters has remained silent on the issue and is nowhere to be seen during this debacle.
“As a state national agency, enjoined to protect the rights, interests and needs of South Africa’s people, both Sanral and the Department must answer for their unwillingness to take reasonable steps to ensure that the eviction occurs in manner that does not rob people of their security and dignity,” said Van Damme.
“As such, the ANC would do well to familiarise themselves with the facts of this issue and redirect their condemnation to the national government – which they have just been elected to govern,” she concluded.
With the evictions entering the second day, residents have resorted to throwing petrol bombs and setting tyres alight as the eviction notice is being carried out by the sheriff of the court.
“Petrol bombs are being thrown, tyres are being lit and the situation is tense at this stage, but police are maintaining law and order. The eviction operation is unfolding at this time,” Lt-Col Andre Traut said.
According to Police seven people were arrested for public violence on Monday and petrol bombs were confiscated.
Additional reporting by Sapa.