It was not just in Nelson Mandela Bay: DA accuses ANC of several coordinated disruptions

OCTOBER 28, 2016

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has accused the African National Congress (ANC) of waging a "coordinated campaign" to disrupt the council meetings of Nelson Mandela Bay, Johannesburg and Tshwane on Thursday.

In the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, where the ANC finds itself in opposition benches for the first time since 1994, clashes left two Councillors in hospital while shots were fired, allegedly by a security officer. The ANC is to give a media briefing on Friday on what happened.

"The ANC cannot accept its electoral defeat at the hands of the DA in the major Metros, and has nothing left to offer but chaos and disorder. The conduct of the ANC today was a disgrace," said James Selfe, Chairperson of the DA's Federal Council.

"In Nelson Mandela Bay’s council meeting today ANC councillors used glass jugs to physically assault other councillors, smashing them into councillors’ faces and leaving two hospitalised. ANC councillors threw glasses and missiles across the council chamber, and threatened violence against the Speaker of Council while approaching the Speaker’s bench violently."

Selfie said that on Thursday, in Johannesburg the ANC caucus disrupted council for long periods, staged walkouts, returned and continued to disrupt the business of council. It is clear that in Johannesburg the caucus of Cllr Parks Tau is nothing more than a band of thugs and hooligans, who have no concern for the people of Johannesburg whom council must serve.

"In Tshwane, the ANC tripartite-alliance disrupted the agenda of council through SAMWU members breaching the Sammy Marks chamber building violently and aggressively, and the ANC councillors inside the chamber abusing the rules to delay council business. SAMWU members hurled stones and missiles at law enforcement outside the Tshwane council meeting, and provoked them. Police had to use stun grenades to disperse the violent attack on the council sitting," he added.

"Undeterred, the agenda of the day in Nelson Mandela Bay has been fully completed and all items have been voted on. In Johannesburg, Mayor Herman Mashaba has committed to completing the full agenda of council today, no matter how long the sitting extends. In Tshwane, Mayor Solly Msimanga has also committed to getting through every agenda item today and the council sitting is ongoing."

Selfe said that the DA remains undeterred.

"The ANC must accept that it has been democratically voted out in Nelson Mandela Bay, Johannesburg and Tshwane, and no amount of violence will change that," he added.

"If anything, through its undemocratic conduct, the ANC is reinforcing just why South Africa spoke up so loudly and clearly against it on 3 August 2016."