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DA condemns disruption of Buffalo City Municipality Council meeting by ANC supporters

MARCH 1, 2017
DA condemns disruption of Buffalo City Municipality Council meeting by ANC supporters

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape on Wednesday expressed concern after an apparent disruption by African National Congress (ANC) supporters brought Tuesday's Buffalo City Council meeting to a standstill.

The DA has lambasted an apparent failure by BCM law enforcement to deal with the protesters as well as what it called the waste of BCM ratepayers’ money to transport and feed the ANC supporters.

"Bussed in with the foreknowledge and consent of the Mayor, Alfred Mtsi, about 100 protesters sang and held up posters, effectively interrupting the business of Council," said Terence Fritz, DA Caucus Leader for Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality.

"The protest lasted for about 2 hours until an impression of order was restored by wasteful measures of enticing protestors outside the Council meeting with food parcels paid for by ratepayers funds through the Mayor’s office. This amounts to spending public money, on the ANC, to coerce them to stop protesting."

Fritz said that the failure by law enforcement to deal with the ANC protesters is in marked contrast with the previous rough manhandling of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) councillors, "which included the throwing of female EFF councillors to the solid council floor".

He said that law enforcement is supposed to be a neutral service to ensure the rule of law, "not to be used like jackboots to rough up opponents while smiling at the Mayor’s own stormtroopers".

"It did appear from posters being held up in the gallery that the protest was directed at those 21 ANC councillors who failed to support the Mayor’s nominee in January as acting City Manager. These councillors were described as traitors to the ANC and sell-outs to the Democratic Alliance," described Fritz.

"In January, the DA proposed the name of Nonceba Mbali-Majeng as acting City Manager because the Mayor’s nominee, Ncumisa Sidukwana, was described in Council as being under some cloud which is subject to investigation.

"This surely raises questions about the integrity by which the Mayor seeks to appoint administrators to run our Buffalo City."