When 80 children die because municipal authorities neglected, failed or just point-blank refused to issue warnings against drinking tap water, in the face of compelling evidence to do so, then those concerned must be arrested and charged with culpable homicide.
When the municipal water-purification plant broke down in October, the Ukhahlamba district municipality received a health report that clearly indicated that tap water was largely to blame for a spate of deaths within their jurisdiction.
There can never be a satisfactory reason why the municipality failed to issue that warning — erring on the side of caution would have been its greatest sin.
These children, in the main, died either because people refused to take responsibility or, worse, could not have been bothered. Whichever way, they need to be sent away.
Omission in this case is just as bad as commission.
If we are to show South Africans that there is accountability, then there must be immediate action by the prosecutors in that area. There is sufficient grounds to issue warrants against the main culprits at this stage.
Every South African life is precious. Send a message to public servants: you will be called to account for your actions (or inactions).
The parents of those children and their fellow South Africans will not stand for this kind of reckless disregard for human life.
Uplifting people from poverty is one thing; protecting them from the negligence of incompetent morons is another.
Let us not be found wanting on the latter.