7 December 2012

South Africa: Sexwale, Mushwana to Iron Out Issues On Lenasia

Pretoria — Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale and Human Rights Commissioner Advocate Lawrence Mushwana on Thursday agreed to resolve temporary glitches around the Lenasia issue.

This comes after the Human Rights Commission issued a statement earlier on Thursday, which gave an unfortunate impression that government was not committed and willing to consult with other parties.

In a joint statement the Human Settlements Department and Human Rights Commission said: "[A] meeting that was convened on Tuesday erroneously and unintentionally left out other stakeholders, something that will be corrected going forward. An official who was instructed to invite all parties neglected to do so and the Minister instructed the Director General to sharply call the official to order."

Sexwale, Advocate Mushwana and the Gauteng Provincial Government are satisfied that the processes remains on track and nothing will derail it. As Sexwale says, this is an "All In" process.

All parties now have to report back to the court on progress as this was still a court process.

Both parties stated without equivocation that the protection of human rights was not to be equated with criminal wrongs.

"Furthermore, both agreed that no agreement will be allowed that is unlawful and criminal syndicates are warned not to expect to "ride on the back of lawful agreements," read the statement.

The minister again undertook to the Commissioner that going forward, the innocent must not suffer in the process.

Sexwale on Tuesday announced that from January 2013, government will construct new low-cost houses in Lenasia, where houses that were built on illegally acquired land were demolished last month.

He said the houses would be built for those individuals on government's housing waiting list.

Speaking at a media briefing in Pretoria, he called on those who illegally acquired land in Lenasia to come forward and point out the people they were colluding with, to ensure that the culprits involved in the selling of state-owned land were dealt with.

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