The Democratic Alliance (DA) wants the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane to fire Dudu Myeni over her her illegal decision to appoint The SAA Chairperson as Chair of the Umhlatuze Water Board for a third term.

In statement released by the party which reads below;

The DA will take all steps necessary to ensure that the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, is held to account in Parliament for her illegal decision to appoint SAA Chairperson, Dudu Myeni, as Chair of the Umhlatuze Water Board for a third term.

This comes after the Pietermaritzburg High Court yesterday ordered Mokonyane to fire Myeni as Chairperson of the Water Board within six months (180 days) from the date of order. The court found that Mokonyane’s indefinite extension of Myeni’s third term as Chairperson, which legally came to an end on 28 February 2015, was unlawful. Mokonyane was also ordered to pay the legal fees of the Applicant in the matter, suspended CEO Sifiso Makhanya.

The DA welcomes the ruling by Judge Yvonne Mbatha, as we have long held that the Minister’s extension of Myeni’s term was unlawful. The Water Services Act (Act 108 of 1997) – specifically section 3 of Schedule 1 thereto – only allows for a maximum of three consecutive terms of no more than four years each

The battle, however, is not yet over. The Minister is actively aiding and abetting Myeni to retain her power over the water resources of KwaZulu-Natal by merging the Umhlatuze Water Board with the Umgeni Water Boards (against the advice of National Treasury) and appointing Myeni as chair of the interim transitional council. In reply to parliamentary questions posed by the DA, the Minister revealed that the merging of the boards will only occur in the 2017/18 financial year. The Minister could provide no satisfactory statutory grounds on which she established the said interim council.

The Minister will probably happily remove Myeni as chair of umHlatuze, safe in the knowledge that she retains a firm hand on the steering wheel through her superior position as chairperson of the interim transitional council managing the merging of the two KZN water boards into a single provincial entity.

This is why the DA will make sure that Mokonyane is held to account in Parliament. Our country’s water boards are an important tool for the effective management of our scarce and drought-strained water resources, and the DA will not allow it to be used as the personal fiefdom of the Minister and her friends and associates.