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'No need for violence' - Housing activists to Minister Sisulu after altercation

Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has been criticised for an outburst during a visit to the Taiwan informal settlement in Khayelitsha this week.

Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. Picture: @DWS_RSA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Cape Town housing activists on Thursday said they would not be bullied and that Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu's tactics would not scare or intimidate them.

Sisulu has been criticised for her outburst during a visit to the Taiwan informal settlement in Khayelitsha this week.

In a video of the incident, she was seen arguing with an activist – she has since said she would be lodging criminal complaint against the man.

The informal settlement was ravaged by a fire on New Year's Day.

One resident was heard saying, "Let's hope, minister, you won't do the same as at Empolweni. You promised structures to be built, but you never built them."

Sisulu is then heard saying, "You are lying! You are lying! Don't talk rubbish, switch it off. Switch it off! You are lying!"

The altercation started when Social Justice Coalition activist Nkosikhona Swartbooi asked Sisulu about the relief for Empolweni residents - promises he accused the minister of not keeping.

In a statement, the minister said the man displayed 'rude behaviour' and had no reason to be at her meeting with the affected residents.

The Social Justice Coalition's Mandisa Dyantyi said Swartbooi was merely stating and asking why promises were made and not delivered.

She said people had the right to hold government accountable.

“If the minister felt that Nkosikhona’s comments were out of line, all she should have done was engage and tell him how she delivered on the promise she had made. There was no need for the violence which (unfolded).”

Dyantyi said Swartbooi was manhandled by the minister's bodyguards, which she said was unacceptable.

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