Rorisang Kgosana
Premium Journalist
3 minute read
6 Apr 2017
12:43 pm

ANC councillor barges into State of the Capital Address with noose around his neck

Rorisang Kgosana

Msimanga was expected to give his first address under the new DA administration, but the ANC caused disruptions, chanting that the address should be postponed.

An eerie scene of an ANC ward councillor walking into council chambers with a noose around his neck was witnessed just before the State of the Capital Address proceeded in Pretoria on Thursday.

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Walking into the chambers alongside singing ANC councillors, the group reenacted a dramatisation of the hanging of Solomon Mahlangu, who was killed on April 6, 1979.

This after the now opposition party requested Mayor Solly Msimanga to postpone the SoCA as the day was to remember the fallen Mahlangu.

Msimanga was expected to give his first address under the new DA administration, but the ANC caused disruptions, chanting that the address should be postponed.

“Do you want to hang Solomon Mahlangu for the second time? Solomon Mahlangu was hanged on this day by founding member of the Democratic Alliance, Ramon Leon. This sitting should be postponed to any other day,” said ANC caucus spokesperson Lesego Makhubela.

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But speaker Katlego Matheba said the sitting was approached to council on September 27, last year, with the ANC not objecting to the proposed calendar.

“You [ANC] were present when we considered the council calendar, and you did not raise any objections. It is disingenuous to want to debate the council calendar today. You had the opportunity to debate the date. It is dishonest to do what you are doing.”

In a bid to compromise, leader in the ANC council Mapiti Matsena requested a moment of silence to commemorate Mahlangu, assuring the chamber the sitting would then proceed.

Matheba agreed, however, following the moment, Makhubela stood to insist the sitting be postponed. He told the media that Solomon Mahlangu’s family declined an invitation to the sitting to remember their son.

“Say to our people that you are continuing with this desecration of the grave of Solomon Mahlangu,” he told the Speaker.

Matheba called on the councillors to take their seat while reading out the rules of council.

“I am not going to allow this meeting to delay any further. We will proceed with this sitting.”

Disruptions continued, however, when the opposition ANC provoked the speaker to remove them from chambers.

Police and Tshwane metro police officers surrounded the hall with nyalas and vans in anticipation.

But the tables turned when police officers refused to enter the chambers, with some stating: “The DA complained when police were sent into parliament, now they want us in there. We are not going in there.”

A fuming Msimanga demanded that security and police do their work. He claimed the police received instructions from the ANC’s Luthuli House not to act.

Five hours later, proceedings were moved to a different hall in the events centre, where Msimanga addressed the council without the ANC caucus at 4pm.

“It’s sad to witness a once formidable movement, that attracted intellectuals and those who understood the meaning of freedom, turning into a group of hooligans and those that cannot hold the same principals Mahlangu died for,” he told the remaining guests.

Halfway through the address, ANC members left, leaving tables and chairs scattered across the hall.

rorisangk@citizen.co.za