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Legal battle looms over Hammanskraal deaths

todayMay 24, 2023 106

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A legal battle is looming over the cholera outbreak that’s hit the community of Hammanskraal, in Tshwane.

Some lawyers in the area are preparing to take the government to court over the crisis that’s claimed 15 lives.

They’re accusing the Department of Water and Sanitation of failing to take accountability over the deaths.

Members of the Hammanskraal Lawyers’ Association (HLA) say might pursue murder charges over the deaths.

They’re accusing the Water and Sanitation as well as the Health departments of deliberately ignoring residents’ cries for safe drinking water.

In 2019, the SA Human Right’s Commission found water in the area unfit for human consumption and called for authorities to take steps to correct the situation.

However three years on, residents say little intervention has taken place since.

Advocates Rodney Ngobeni and Lesego Kwakwa from the Hammanskraal Lawyers Association say more tangible solutions should have been sought.

“Our view is that this is a murder, a massacre and we are very serious about that. Remember, murder is causing of death intentionally. The court may find intention here. Because people have been sitting with the reports on this challenge knowing very well that Hammanskraal water is not fit for human consumption but they continued supplying our people with this water,” they say.

They say there might be other cholera deaths that might have never been detected in this community.

The advocates say they’re eager to consult with the families of the 15 victims of the current outbreak as they consider the most appropriate legal action. Article by Naomi Kobbie

Written by: Lindiwe Mabena

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