Zille speaks out against Nomzamo inquiry

Helen Zille says it’s peculiar an eviction enquiry was set up in the only province not governed by the ANC.

FILE. Western Cape Premier Helen Zille says it’s peculiar an eviction enquiry was set up in the only province not governed by the ANC. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Premier Helen Zille says it's strange the Department of Human Settlements set up an inquiry into the Nomzamo debacle while it remains mum on several other major evictions taking place across the country.

Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu established an inquiry after hundreds of families were evicted from their homes on South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) owned land in Nomzamo, near Lwandle in Strand more than a month ago.

The minister accused provincial government and the City of Cape Town of failing to take responsibility for the evicted residents.

Zille says she finds it peculiar that Sisulu set up the inquiry in the only province the African National Congress (ANC) doesn't govern.

The premier made reference to a string of alleged unlawful evictions that took place across the country in recent months.

She highlighted a similar debacle in Alexandra, Johannesburg that was carried out in the same week as Nomzamo.

"There were several of them and the minister has remained absolutely quiet. She hasn't gone there, she hasn't condemned it, she hasn't made political statements, she hasn't provided relief and she certainly hasn't established a committee."

Sisulu has given the commission three months to wrap up its work.

Meanwhile, an eyewitness who has testified at the inquiry says the nature of last month's evictions was inhumane.

Tuesday marked the second day of public hearings, which form part of the ministerial inquiry's mandate.

The eyewitness, who was present as the forced removals took place, says the human rights of the residents were violated.

Tim Flack says the evictees were vulnerable and were left destitute as temperatures plummeted.

"Just seeing another woman crying and people being upset about their places being demolished."

The city and the provincial human settlements department declined to make oral submissions on Tuesday.

The inquiry will proceed next week, when police and Sanral are expected to testify.