City of Joburg Speaker Vasco da Gama says everyone involved in the brawl at Wednesday night’s council meeting will be prosecuted.
The police are looking into the matter and he instructed the Ethics Committee to also investigate.
Democratic Alliance (Yes) has accused members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) of intimidation and assault after a brawl on the council during a marathon 12-hour meeting that ended in adjournment on Thursday morning.
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Da Gama condemns violent and obstructive behavior ANC and EFF. He says this behavior will no longer be tolerated.
“After a few frivolous points of order from the ANC and EFF members, their disruptive behavior caused chaos and it was clear that their intention was to disrupt and curtail the council meeting.’
The EFF, ANC and smaller opposition parties are understood to have accused Da Gama of rigging the council’s processes to push a DA-backed candidate to the post of council secretary.
The issue has been going on for months – and when it was mentioned on Wednesday – it caused chaos.
Da Gama says the EFF saw him being mistreated and forcibly removed from his seat and assaulting female councillors.
“It is appalling that female councilors have been beaten up by their male EFF colleagues the day after Women’s Day. Actions speak louder than words. And their actions expose them as selfish hypocrites,” he says.
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Joburg Mayor Mpho Falatse says the presence of EFF helmets and their use as weapons in the council is something that needs to be reviewed for the safety of all councillors, officials and residents attending meetings.
“Women face the brunt of society’s ills; so it’s very upsetting that a city council that is responsible for legislation, particularly decisions that protect vulnerable populations such as women, would perpetuate violence against women – in front of the whole world,” she says.
“The lack of appropriate action by law enforcement is fueling these acts of violence in the council and reinforcing the reality that gender-based violence and crime in society is not being addressed immediately.”
Da Gama reminds councilors that their salaries are paid by the people of Joburg and their only job is to represent and promote the interests of the people of the city.
“Disrupting and delaying a council meeting with such violent, anti-social behavior deprives the people of the City of Joburg of much-needed services and solutions and destroys the trust they have placed in councillors,” he says.
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