Monday, June 28, 2010

Department raises concern over planned charges against Minister

By Ofentse Mokae
28 June 2010


The Water Affairs department has raised concern with the planned criminal charges to be laid against Minister Buyelwa Sonjica by the Environment and Conservation Association.

The association accuses Sonjica of not attending to the pollution contaminating the Hartbeespoort Dam in North West.

The department described the plans as “unfortunate” in light of the work it is doing to remedy the situation in the entire country.

The department’s Nobu Ngele says historical challenges such as the state of water infrastructure, inadequate funding and the skills shortage are compounding the problem.

Chairperson of the association Nicole Barlow, says the organisation's legal representatives were finalising a comprehensive draft of criminal charges to be laid at the Rustenburg police station.

Charges will be laid against the minister and President Jacob Zuma for their failure to uphold section 24 of the Constitution, which requires the government to protect water resources.

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