NMB council did not fly flags at half-mast for Winnie, claims EFF

2018-04-10 16:55
Giant flag at Donkin currently flying half-mast. (Derrick Spies, Correspondent)

Giant flag at Donkin currently flying half-mast. (Derrick Spies, Correspondent)

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The EFF accused the Nelson Mandela Bay council of disrespecting Winnie Madikizela-Mandela by not flying its flags at half-mast after her death.

Speaking at a special council meeting on Tuesday morning, EFF councillor Yoliswa Yako also said that not having a moment of silence at the beginning of their session also pointed to a lack of respect.

Yako turned her attention to "white media", accusing it of trying to vilify Madikizela-Mandela and trivialise her death.

The meeting was called on Tuesday to hear a motion of no confidence against Mayor Athol Trollip.

The previous council meeting on March 29 descended into chaos before the motion could come up for debate. 

It was postponed for two weeks after more than eight hours of bickering and disorderly conduct that led to several adjournments.

Council to investigate flag allegations

When the meeting resumed on Tuesday, it was not long before a shouting match ensued and the meeting was again adjourned, around 11:30.

At a press conference afterwards, Trollip said flags were flown at half-mast as per protocol.

He did not know which flags the councillors were referring to but would instruct the municipal manager to investigate.

Speaker Jonathan Lawack had started Tuesday's session by paying tribute to Madikizela-Mandela and Chris Hani. 

The ANC's Andile Lungisa asked that the tribute also include Solomon Mahlangu.

Lawack gave each party a few minutes to pay tribute and reminded councillors that they were addressing the Republic of South Africa.

'Salute Mama Winnie, salute'

Speaking about Madikizela-Mandela, Cope councillor Siyasanga Sijadu said: "The apartheid leadership feared her, because they could not control her."

The ANC denied her rightful place, said Sijadu, and history would judge the party for it.

Councillors began drowning her out.

Patriotic Alliance councillor Marlon Daniels said Madikizela-Mandela had not been given the respect she deserved.

"Salute Mama Winnie, salute," he said, after offering condolences to her family.

UDM councillor Mongameli Bobani also extended condolences after delivering a moving tribute.

'Continue the struggle' in her honour

ACDP's Lance Grootboom said the party would always remember Madikizela-Mandela as someone with strong convictions, who fought for all women.

One of her key causes, said African Independent Congress councillor Tshonono Buyeye, was land. She was against the concept of willing buyer, willing seller, as she knew her people did not have the capital to buy the land.

United Front councillor Mkhuseli Mtsila said the only way to honour her was "to continue the struggle until we are free".

Chaos erupted when the ANC objected to DA councillor Nqaba Bhanga addressing the council. Bhanga managed to conclude his tribute to Madikizela-Mandela despite the opposition drowning him out.

It was not long before the council again descended into a shouting match when Lungisa wanted to raise a point of order and Lawack said he wanted to proceed because time was being wasted.

The meeting collapsed and was permanently adjourned.

Read more on:    eff  |  winnie ­madikizela-mandela  |  port elizabeth  |  politics

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