In a statement just released, Executive Mayor Athol Trollip said:
I have never before witnessed scenes of extreme violence such as those meted out by ANC councillors at yesterday’s council sitting.
In a constitutional democracy where voters choose their leaders through the ballot box, it is unfathomable that a single political party, the ANC, can reject the will of the electorate by attacking the very structures that, and the people who now govern our Metro.
Party Representatives from the DA, UDM, ACDP, COPE, EFF, AIC and PA in the Nelson Mandela Bay Council have all come out in utter condemnation of the ANC’s horrific acts, and have urged the Speaker and Police to conduct thorough investigations so that those responsible are charged and prosecuted.
Yesterday’s events unfolded as follows; When two ANC councillors were asked to remove themselves from the chamber for repeatedly disrupting the meeting, the Speaker and the Acting City Manager asked security to escort them out. This resulted in the ANC caucus, one of whom was carrying a knife, forming a barrier between security and the two councillors in question, chanting “We will beat you! We will beat you!”
Another two ANC councillors, serial offenders in the chamber, aggressively charged at the Speaker, whose podium is a sacrosanct and inviolate space. They picked up glass jugs and threatened to assault the Speaker at which point a number of DA councillors, including MMC Rano Kayser, rushed to the Speaker’s defence. In the most horrific act of violence and criminality, one of the ANC councillors smashed the 2 kilogram glass jug over MMC Kayser’s head, inflicting a critical injury that required intervention from medical personnel and hospitalisation.
Further chaos then descended on the council with a number of glasses, jugs, tea cups and saucers thrown at the government leadership by various ANC councillors. A single warning gun shot into the ceiling from a Close Protection Officer brought the ruckus to an end. Another councillor, Rosie Daaminds, was also taken to hospital having suffered a panic attack.
I have on numerous occasions request the ANC’s provincial and regional leadership to stop their members and councillors from engaging in disruptive and aggressive behaviour before people got hurt, but to no avail. The paucity of leadership in this broken organisation is endemic, and is starting to spread like a cancer, dragging innocent people into horrible and violent situations.
The ANC has totally lost its way, resorting to acts of extreme violence, intimidation and thuggery. This matter is being investigated by the South African Police Service and the same will be done by the Speaker’s Office. Those responsible will be held to account and will face the full might of the law.
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