Public Protector must probe ANC councillor’s alleged abuse at Alex Women’s Hostel

Janet Semple MPL

Spokesperson on Housing

Public Protector Adv. Thuli Madonsela must investigate the alleged abuse of power, verbal abuse and dereliction of duty by the ANC’s councillor for Ward 107 in the City of Johannesburg at the Helen Joseph Women’s Hostel in Alexandra.

The alleged abuse is believed to have started when the ANC’s Ambi Maseko was elected as councillor in 2006. Maseko also lives in the hostel.

According to the residents the councillor allegedly abuses her power, “runs” the hostel like she owns it, and allegedly illegally evicts residents.

The DA’s visit to the hostel yesterday again exposed the appalling conditions that residents are forced to live under and the councillor refuses to address the situation. This includes blocked drains, electricity cuts persisting for more than ten months, pools of solid human waste and the failure to move an elderly resident to a more accessible room.

In terms of s6(4) of the Public Protector Act, Adv Thuli Madonsela’s office is empowered to investigate alleged abuse or unjustifiable exercise of power or unfair, capricious, discourteous or other improper conduct or undue delay by a person performing a public function and maladministration in connection with the affairs of government at any level.

Both the councillor and the City are clearly failing the women of the Hostel and their repeated inaction and continued abuse warrants an investigation by the Public Protector.

All the goodwill generated by the recent Women’s Month activities would be meaningless if we do not act to restore the dignity of the women living in this hostel and fix the appalling conditions in this government-owned residence.