Nelson Mandela Bay Councillors join hands and condemn fracas at last council meeting

BY YOLANDA PALEZWENI - NOVEMBER 24, 2016

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality on Thursday held a special council meeting, which also addressed the brawl that occurred during the last council meeting on the 27th of October, which resulted in two Councillors being hospitalised, a shot being fired in the and one councillor being charged for assault.

Addressing Thursday’s council meeting, Speaker, Jonathan Lawack, urged Councillors to ensure the violence does not happen again.

Human Settlements political head, Cllr Nqaba Bhanga, representing the Democratic Alliance (DA), also said that the violence that occurred during that meeting was uncalled for and it was disrespectful to those, who fought for the freedom for this country.

“I want to remind my colleagues that the freedom that we have we owe to the history, what transpired in the last council meeting did not emulates what our hero’s fought, instead emulates lack of leadership,” said Councillor Bhanga.

The DA previously accused the ANC of launching coordinated disruptions countrywide on the day.

He added that the councillors should set an example for local residents and said if that behaviour was allowed to be repeated, then Council will have failed the people of Nelson Mandela Bay.

The leader of African National Congress (ANC) in the Nelson Mandela Bay Council, Bicks Ndoni, agreed adding that the ANC regrets the incident. The ANC previously accused the DA-led coalition in the Bay of provocking them, which culminated in the chaos.

“The ANC condemns the violence and it is the responsibility of the Speaker to control members accordingly. The unfortunate incident would have never happened if the meeting was conducted accordingly,” said Councillor Ndoni.

However, Nelson Mandela Bay Patriotic Alliance (PA) leader, Marlon Daniels, while also condemning the violence, blamed both the DA-led coalition and the ANC and appealed for tolerance if the Nelson Mandela Bay wants to serve the people of the Bay.

“Dignity has to be restored, irrespective of who is wrong between the two parties, tolerance must be implemented in order to serve the people in a proper way, councillors has to learn to work together to go forward and uplift the City,” said Councillor Daniels.

While they were not present during the fracas, the United Front also aired their condemnation adding that for them, as for the rest of the residents of the Nelson Mandela Bay, the chaos came as shock and was very disappointing.

In his address, Nelson Mandela Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, also condemned the violence and urged Councillors to be respectful of one another regardless of the party caucus that they belong to.

“I take full responsibility for what happened, I’m the Mayor of the City, therefore if anyone is ought to be blame, let it be me,” said Executive Mayor Trollip.

He concluded by acknowledging Councillors from the UF and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) for not being part of the chaos yet also taking full responsibility for what happened.

However, the municipality seems to have taken measures against future incidents - including by replacing glass water jars (one of which was used to attack DA Councillor, Rano Kayser, and left him with a deep cut on the head) with plastic ones.