African Christian Democratic Party MP Hon. Marie Sukers was assaulted yesterday whilst doing constituency work in Warrenton, Northern Cape, after meeting with residents and community leaders regarding the water crisis in the area.
Warrenton, which falls within the Magareng Local Municipality, has been without regular water supply for about four months. There is no clear indication of when regular water supply will be restored, and community members have to walk for several kilometres to access emergency water distribution points. When they eventually get there, not a drop of water is left. This is a disgraceful state of affairs.
In exercising Parliamentary oversight, Hon. Sukers went to see the water treatment plant and the site where repair work is being carried out on infrastructure that was damaged during the flooding in the area, in February.
She was accompanied by members of the public and media.
Upon entering the water treatment plant to speak to the management, she was denied access and then physically assaulted by a male staff member working at the plant. She has since opened a case of assault against the staff member who assaulted her and prevented her from entering the plant.
This criminal act against an elected member of Parliament performing her constitutional duties of oversight (and assisting a community desperate for water) must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. It is particularly deplorable given the high levels of Gender-Based Violence in our country. An attack on any parliamentarian is an attack on the institution itself.
The ACDP appreciates that the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, House Chairpersons, and Chief Whips across political lines have expressed outrage and condemnation of this criminal act.
The ACDP will continue to exercise oversight, and its public representatives will not be intimidated in any way from assisting communities struggling with poor service delivery.