ANC to blame for chaos at JHB council meeting – Mashaba

2017-02-23 15:30
The Johannesburg Social Movement supporters protest outside the Johannesburg City Council demanding to hand over a memorandum to City of Johannesburg Mayor, Herman Mashaba. (Nation Nyoka, News24)

The Johannesburg Social Movement supporters protest outside the Johannesburg City Council demanding to hand over a memorandum to City of Johannesburg Mayor, Herman Mashaba. (Nation Nyoka, News24)

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Johannesburg - The African National Congress is responsible for a violent protest at the City of Joburg's council offices, says Mayor Herman Mashaba.

Hundreds of people, including members of the Johannesburg Social Movement (JSM), stormed the council chamber building in Braamfontein on Thursday and broke laptops and windows. Fires were also lit outside the building. The council was meeting about budget adjustments.

"Today's protest was clearly organised by the ANC in a bid to derail council proceedings. The blame must be put squarely at the feet of the ANC who assisted the protesters in storming the council chamber," said Mashaba in a statement.

He also accused the demonstrators of threatening the lives of councillors and city employees.

"Today's march was led by the JSM, an organisation set up by ANC members to discredit the new administration," said Mashaba.

He claimed JSM leader Tshepang Mokgatla was an ANC councillor candidate in Ward 125 during the 2016 municipal elections but lost it to the Democratic Alliance.

'You will not intimidate us'

The mayor also confirmed that a march request for JSM was approved, but only for 300 demonstrators.

According to Mashaba, the ANC caucus left the council meeting to address party members outside. They then led their supporters into the council building where "havoc broke out".

Mashaba also claimed several ANC councillors arrived for the day's meeting in yellow jackets for the first time. The jackets look similar to those worn by the protesters.

He said he believed this could have been done in order to distinguish ANC councillors from representatives of other political parties.

"I condemn the violence that has broken out at the Johannesburg council in the strongest terms; it has not place in our democracy," said Mashaba.

He said the budget was an important first step in ending the rot and patronage flourished under the ANC in Johannesburg.

He said it is clear that the ANC will do anything in its power to prevent this from happening.

"You will not intimidate us, you will not stop us from fulfilling the mandate for change that the residents of our city have given us," said Mashaba.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  herman mashaba  |  johannesburg  |  politics

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