Tshwane moves against unruly councillors

 

The Tshwane Council has approved a motion to establish a protection service to help the Speaker remove unruly councillors from the chamber.

The measure was approved at a heated and sometimes acrimonious debate at a Special Council Meeting at the Sammy Marks Council Chamber today (Wednesday).

A report was submitted by the DA administration, seeking permission for the Speaker to establish the protection service following many instances of disruptions and violence since the DA took won the local government election in August.

ALSO READ: Chaos at State of the Capital Address

The disruption of the mayor’s State of the City Address (Soca) by protesting councillors on 6 April proved the last straw.

Mayoral spokesperson Samkelo Mgobozi said using the metro police to perform this task had proved futile hence the need to establish a special unit.

The metro police had refused to perform the task leading to action against the metro police, Steven Ngobeni.

DA deputy chief whip Matheo Mtimkulu fired one of the opening salvos during the debate when he said: “Political debates should not lead to threats.”

This was met with loud heckling from ANC councillors.

Mtimkulu continued, “Some of us feel abused, we feel intimidated.”

Also read: State of the Capital Address gets underway

He said establishing a protection service was necessary “to protect us from the abuse and arrogance of the ANC”.

“Their numbers are not required for a quorum, so if they do not want to come they are not needed. They will be removed.”

ANC Cllr Terrence Mashego, a former MMC for community safety, challenged Speaker Katlego Rachel Mathebe.

“Show us any piece of legislation that (enables you to) employ anyone.”

“It must be guided by a policy, I don’t see any policy here (in the Report).”

“You can vote for it, you can bring in people but you must take full responsibility for what happens here because what you are starting here is a bloodbath.”

DA’s Karen Meyer responded: “I’d like to know if Mashego threatened Council. Is that a threat?”
She said it should be referred to the Rules and Ethics committee.

Ordered by the Speaker to withdraw the word “bloodbath”, Mashego complied.

But there were other threats, such as that the “bouncers” should be sure to have a funeral policy, and that the

Speaker should take responsibility for the ANC’s response to being removed.

The ANC opposed the report, saying that it created another structure which did not comply with the law, and  was not funded.

They also thought it usurped the role of the City Manager to make appointments.

It was pointed out that the Speaker would not be making protection service appointments, only giving the order to the protection service to remove unruly councillors.

MMC for corporate and shared services Cilliers Brink pointed out that MPs were removed in the National Assembly.

“The ANC does not want to eat what it dishes up for other people,” he said.

“So if it (disruptions) happens in Parliament, the Speaker sends in white shirts. In Erkhuleni (Metropolitan Municipality) they send in the municipal police to remove opposition councillors.

“If we acted in the same way as they do, they would beat us.

“If they want to challenge this, let them go to court. Let them explain to a judge all the threats they made here today. So they mustn’t cry if they get removed.”

The EFF supported the measure, said its leader in council Benjamin (KB )Disoloane.

“They must not come here and pretend this document is here to deal with them (it will not happen) unless there are problems.

The ANC requested an amendment to the report – namely, that the matter be deferred to July when the new financial year began – a proposal which was defeated.

Do you have more information about the story? Please send us an email to editorial@rekord.co.za or phone us on 083 625 4114.

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  AUTHOR
Vivien van der Sandt

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