- Ward 36 Residents Association Chairperson Vanessa Knight who recorded a municipal worker taking hampers has spoken out
- The video of the incident went viral on social media and sparked an uproar from the community
- She claimed that the municipality worker arrived without documentation, loaded up the vehicles and drove off
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KWAZULU-NATAL - The woman who recorded a member of eThekwini Municipality removing relief hampers from the Virginia Airport has spoken out. The Ward 36 Residents Association Chairperson Vanessa Knight made claims that the worker was taking the hampers meant for communities affected by the flooding without consent.
The video of the incident went viral on social media, sparking an uproar from the community. Knight said she will meet with the municipality officials after they posted that the altercation was a misunderstanding.
During an interview with TimesLIVE, Knight said that the community rallied to create hampers for people and managed to get donations from businesses as well. They had planned to package and send the donations with rescue helicopters as there was no access to roads at Virginia Airport.
She claims that she did not know that the airport was a drop-off point for donations to the municipality, they were then told that the aid they provided was for the health department. Knight also claimed that the municipality worker arrived without documentation. After loading up the vehicles and failing to listen to Knight, she parked her car in front of the driveway and began videoing.
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The items were returned following the altercation. The Mayoral Spokesperson Mluleki Mntungwa said the driver was not stealing and that the donations were set to be dropped off at a township. Mntungwa added that donations will not be delivered to places of choice but rather to those most affected, IOL reported. The municipality added that the employee had her “reputation tarnished”.
President Cyril Ramaphosa declares National State of Disaster following KZN floods, sets up oversight team
Social media users react to the viral video
Yvette Robinson commented:
“Had this video not gone viral, the goods would not have been returned. There was massive looting during the early stages of the scamdemic too which includes govt officials, food parcels and billions in relief funding and then too quick explanations and denials were sent out. Heaven help, the same will happen with the billions earmarked for relief efforts.”
Paul Ramsden posted:
“I don't believe that a bakkie would be used to deliver relief goods to areas affected by the flood as it would be enough for 10 families at most and not be any relief at all, it is blatant thieving and the woman did the right thing by stopping her leaving and returning the goods. Any government or municipal organisation in SA is questionable as corruption is the order of the day.”
Avril Mathir shared:
“People must only donate to The Gift of the Givers. The corruption and looting is a huge problem.”
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Nokuphila Masibi said:
“Why return them if they were not stolen? She looked just as guilty.”
Vanita Naidu reacted:
“Government and their affiliated state department employees must keep their fingers of private and NGO aids. No one trusts them, and for good reason. We don't buy their excuses. NO TRUST. Stay away from private organisations donor aids.”
Lerato Lerato wrote:
“KZN people don't be shy to take videos and make them go viral last time they stole food parcels while people were hungry.”
KZN floods: SASSA puts up more money to help KZN residents, offers r1 980 to people affected by floods
Briefly News also reported The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) says it will be upping the relief benefit offered to the victims of the floods in KwaZulu-Natal from the initial R700 to R1 980.
The natural disaster has claimed the lives of close to 400 people with more deaths anticipated as the cleaning operations continue in the province. In addition to the loss of life, many people have been displaced from their homes and public infrastructure has been heavily destroyed due to floods.
The KwaZulu-Natal department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) issued an update on the death toll on Saturday, 16 April and the number of people who have lost their lives is now 398. The department added that around 20 people have been officially declared missing according to TimesLIVE.
Source: Briefly News