News24 Wire
2 minute read
9 Feb 2021
7:54 pm

Gauteng SAHRC lays charges against Merafong municipal manager after no show

News24 Wire

A subpoena was issued to the municipal manager for the municipality to appear before the SAHRC, however, they failed to show up.

SAHRC provincial manager Buang Jones is seen during an inspection at the Mamelodi Hospital after an incident whent viral on social media of an elderly woman being tied to a chair, 11 June 2019, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

“Our act makes it mandatory for organs of state to assist and co-operate with us when we conduct investigations and when we perform and carry out our functions,” the SAHRC’s provincial head, Buang Jones, said.

Jones was speaking to News24 outside the Carletonville police station where he laid charges of failure to comply with a subpoena in terms of Section 15 of the SA Human Rights Commission Act of 2013.

This after the SAHRC received a complaint – in February 2014 – from the municipality.

In Jones’ affidavit, he said the complaint stated municipal buildings around the Merafong area were not accessible to persons living with disabilities.

The SAHRC subsequently commenced with an investigation upon receiving the complaint.

In response, the municipality allegedly undertook to renovate its public buildings to accommodate persons living with disabilities.

Jones’ affidavit stated the SAHRC had requested a status update on 3 August 2020 and made an additional five follow-ups, but the municipality had not responded.

As a result, a subpoena was issued to the municipal manager on 18 November 2020 requesting the municipality to appear before it on 3 December 2020.

Jones – in his affidavit – said the municipality had failed to appear.

The municipality has been in the headlines since 2019 after it was reported it was one of the municipalities that unlawfully invested municipal funds into VBS Mutual Bank.

The investment was done outside the mandatory directives and of National Treasury and the government’s existing policy prescripts, Gauteng Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Lebogang Maile’s spokesperson, Castro Ngobese, previously told News24.

In addition, residents also threatened to make the city ungovernable as well as calling for the mayor’s head over the VBS scandal.

News24 reported in February that at least 5,000 Merafong residents embarked on a shutdown to protest ongoing water and electricity issues in the area.

News24 reached out to the municipality for comment. It will be added to the article once received.

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