Councillors see red and throw dignity to the winds in finger-wagging clash with EFF’s hat wearers

2014-05-14 00:00

COUNCILLORS of the Greater Kokstad Municipality and Economic Freedom Fighters members yesterday morning saw red and almost came to blows in the council chambers.

This after about 10 EFF members barged into the gallery during a council sitting, wearing their signature red berets. According to the council dress code, a man cannot wear a hat inside the chamber.

The heated argument started when the speaker of the council, Zolani Mhlongo, told the EFF members to remove their red berets and they refused to do so. After a long argument, they relented and removed the berets.

Council then proceeded with its business until Mayor Nosisa Jojozi stood up a while later and ordered the EFF members to remove their berets completely from the council chamber, and put them outside.

The EFF members defiantly put their berets back on their heads and council was adjourned.

The speaker instructed the municipal manager, Zamo Mkhize, to call the police and to remove the EFF members by force from the gallery. The EFF shouted at councillors to go ahead and summon the police to remove them forcefully or arrest them, while vowing to stand firm.

While waiting for the police to arrive the shouting escalated and members faced off in a manner that could not be described as befitting of community leaders.

Eventually Mhlongo approached the EFF’s regional commissar, Dumisani Dlamini, and asked him if the group of EFF members would remove their berets.

The EFF members finally agreed and the council meeting continued.

A furious Dlamini said they had decided to attend the council meeting for the first time after the election on Wednesday to watch the proceedings and monitor how councillors were running the municipality ahead of their takeover of the council.

“We are going to take over the municipality very soon but we won’t divulge now what our strategy is on how we will take over the municipality,” said Dlamini.

This follows reports that the EFF has called on their parliamentary members to wear red overalls and berets to national Parliament on their first day before being sworn in, as parliamentary practice forbids MPs from displaying party political symbols in the National Assembly.

Municipal spokesperson Sabelo Ncwane condemned the act by the EFF, saying while the Municipal Systems Act allows the public to attend and observe council, the EFF members “disturbed the running of the council”.

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