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'DA Makana Local Municipality Cllrs removed from Council meeting by armed police'

Nov 7, 2018
'DA Makana Local Municipality Cllrs removed from Council meeting by armed police'

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Makana Local Municipality on Wednesday claimed that the African National Congress (ANC) called in the South African Police Service (SAPS) into Council Chambers to try and intimidate its Councillors.

"Today, while DA Councillors were attempting to fight for the rights of people oppressed by poverty, the failing ANC called in the SAPS to intimidate the DA caucus," described Mlindi Nhanha a DA Cllr in the Makana Local Municipality.

"Eight armed police officers entered the council chamber to intimidate the DA. Eventually, 20 armed officers forcibly removed Cllr Brian Fargher and I.

"In accordance with the rules of council, weapons are not allowed in the chamber."

Nhanha said that all of this happened after the DA insisted that its item, to discuss the plight of the resident of Sun City Informal Settlement, be placed on the agenda.

"On 29 October 2018, the DA caucus walked out of a council meeting in protest against the deliberate omission of our motion to discuss Sun City.

"Following that, I received a letter from Mr Moppo Mene, Municipal Manager, in which he apologised for the omission of the item and promised it would be on the agenda today," he described.

"Under the watch of Cllr Nomhle Gaga, Executive Mayor of the Makana Local Municipality, the municipality defaulted on the payment plan agreed to with Eskom. We now owe Eskom R69 million.

"In 2017 council adopted a DA sponsored resolution that all revenue generated from the sale of electricity be ring-fenced and used to service the Eskom debt. This was never implemented."

Nhanha said that also in 2017, council resolved that municipal overtime, that runs to over R5 million every financial year, be investigated by an independent organisation.

"This was also not implemented.

"It is the Mayor’s responsibility to ensure that council resolutions are implemented," he added.

"The Mayor has failed in all her duties and therefore, on the 25th of July 2018, the DA moved a motion of no confidence in the Mayor. Unfortunately, the motion was unsuccessful.

"The DA in Makana also supports the call by concerned residents to dissolve the council and to have fresh elections."

Nhanha said that hundreds of residents on Tuesday marched to the City Hall in Makhanda, calling for the dissolution of the municipality.  These residents also drew up a petition that was signed by more than 20 000 residents.

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