Mashatile warns counsellors over Tshwane council chaos

2016-09-28 22:20
Paul Mashatile (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

Paul Mashatile (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

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Pretoria - Gauteng MEC for co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) Paul Mashatile has slammed the chaos that erupted in the Tshwane council, saying he has informed councillors that it should never happen again.

"We have agreed that what happened yesterday should never happen again. We will do everything possible to ensure such activities are prevented going into the future," Mashatile told reporters on Wednesday.

Mashatile briefed the media after meeting with Mayor Solly Msimanga and party members following Tuesday's violent clashes. He said after seeing the chaos he called Msimanga, along with the speaker and party leaders to address the situation.

"I have asked my team from Cogta led by the DG to interview everybody and check what happened. I decided to come and meet with the leaders and we had a very fruitful discussion. All the leaders agree that what happened is regrettable because we don't want the use of violence in the chamber, he said.

Mashatile said during the meeting it was agreed that the chamber was for debates and people could argue, agree to disagree but the use of violence or intimidation cannot be allowed.

"All parties agree there is no support for that kind of behaviour. We have also agreed that all parties will ensure that our councillors operate within the rules of the council. That does not take away the right of members to engage and disagree but we would like the council to operate within the rules," he said.

Tuesday's sitting deteriorated into chaos when the speaker asked the ANC caucus to leave the chamber and members refused to do so. That resulted in a stalemate and the proceedings had to be adjourned for some time. Upon continuation, water bottles and chairs flew in the chamber.

Excellent government model

Mashatile said the speaker would ensure that the rules committee reviews the rules and plugs the gaps and loopholes that might exist to ensure that order is maintained. He added that the city had to be a good example of what happens in the country.

"We all accept Tshwane is the capital and we want to ensure our behaviour portrays a good image for our country. We need a good decorum in the council. We will work with the metro police and SA police to ensure that the precinct is properly secured but we have also agreed that where there may be difficulties of a councillor refusing to leave the chambers, the speaker is going to re look again at that aspect as to what to do when that happens," Mashatile said.

He added, however, that it was the responsibility of members to leave the chamber when the speaker ordered them to do so.

"There are ways of challenging if you think the speaker is unfair, there are committees that deal with that," he said.

Msimanga echoed his sentiments and said the city needed to be exemplary in the manner in which it conducted its affairs.

"If chaos erupts and continues to erupt in the capital city it then follows that the whole country will decay into chaos and we cannot afford that. Therefore we are committing ourselves that ours becomes a city that runs on an excellent government model that will ensure there is proper participation of members of the public if they so wish but it can't be that violence becomes the order of the day," he said.

Read more on:    anc  |  city of tshwane  |  paul mashatile  |  pretoria  |  politics

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