Chaos and disruptions in Tshwane council meetings have become the norm, as councillors interjected with “points of order” and “points of information” in the council chambers yesterday.
Profane language and vulgarities were spewed between councillors at the start of proceedings, with Mamelodi councillor Joel Masilela accusing Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga of insulting him.
Speaker Katlego Mathebe attempted to restore calm when members raised issues relating to the dress code of EFF councillors and the unapproved presence of the media in the chambers.
For the third time since the election of the new governing council, there was a protest outside the chambers, this time by the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu). Hundreds of Samwu members dressed in red marched to the chambers, chanting “Solly! Solly!”, demanding to see Msimanga.
With a heavy police presence around the square, stun grenades were fired to disperse the group as they tried to force their way into the chambers while taunting the officers. The marchers later regrouped to continue their demand to see the mayor.
Police escorted the mayor to receive a memorandum from Samwu regional secretary Mpho Tladinyane.Tladinyane said workers demanded insourcing, wage in creases, permanent contracts and dealing with racial issues in the workplace.
Mayoral spokesperson Matthew Gerstner said the City would pursue criminal charges against Samwu leadership as the protest action was unlawful. Msimanga said meetings to improve the lives of Tshwane residents will not be hijacked.
“The business of turning Tshwane around will not be hijacked by anyone, and we continue to make progress every day – Samwu should respect that. “Samwu’s unlawful conduct shows that cheap political points and narrow political agendas come first in the tripartite alliance.”
Meanwhile, council proceeded four hours later, with the election of the selection panel for the appointment of acting City Manager and the Chief Financial Officer.
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