ActionSA has noted, with interest, a number of community and expert witnesses that are pulling out of testifying at the public hearings scheduled to begin in Hammanskraal tomorrow, after initially confirming their attendance.
We assure members of the public that many other expert and community witnesses are lined up to speak without fear or favour about how the City of Tshwane has mismanaged this water crisis.
Witnesses have referred to ‘political pressure’ being brought to bear on them during the course of last night and today. While some have withdrawn, most remain dedicated to ensuring accountability for the people of Hammanskraal.
ActionSA notes the sudden presence of the Minister of Water Affairs, Lindiwe Sisulu, in Hammanskraal today, which is at least better than the Mayor of Tshwane who has declined to attend the hearings so far.
We remain open to Mayor Williams changing his mind and recognising that he has a Constitutional duty to account on behalf of the City of Tshwane to communities whose lives and livelihoods are being destroyed by a failure to provide water – a right enshrined in our Constitution.
ActionSA has complete confidence in the panel that will lead these public hearings, and the community of Hammanskraal. To the political forces attempting to derail this process, nothing will stop the exercise of accountability that has been denied to this community since 2005.