WATCH: Scuffle in Nelson Mandela Bay council after 'new' councillor's presence ruled illegal

2018-09-25 12:14

A scuffle broke out in the Nelson Mandela Bay council on Tuesday after Speaker Buyelwa Mafaya ruled that there was an illegal councillor in the chamber.

"New" DA councillor Lutho Sokudela was sworn in last month after the now infamous council meeting that saw former mayor Athol Trollip ousted, replacing Mbulelo Manyati, who had been immediately "removed" by the DA.

Read: Bobani in, Trollip out after Nelson Mandela Bay motion of no confidence succeeds

However, the Eastern Cape High Court ruled last week that Manyati was still a councillor until he chose to resign or disciplinary measures against him were concluded by the DA.

Read more: Trollip loses bid to overturn Nelson Mandela Bay ousting

City manager Johan Mettler read out the court judgment to clarify the matter.

Sokudela was therefore "illegally" in council, Mafaya told the chamber. The DA caucus objected and chief whip Werner Senekal said Manyati was no longer a member of the party, by their rules.

News24 understands that the scuffle ensued after metro police attempted to remove Sokudela.

Later on Tuesday, Mafaya claimed that DA councillor Retief Odendaal had threatened her, to jeers from the DA caucus.

Odendaal did not immediately respond to the charge in council.

Meeting collapsed

The special council meeting was expected to deal with the possible suspension of Mettler.

However, the disruptions around Sokudela's right to be in council led to the early collapse of the meeting.

DA councillors formed a wall around Sokudela's seat to shield him from municipality security.

All attempts to calm the violence failed and the meeting was postponed to Thursday.

In a media briefing following the collapsed sitting, executive officials, including mayor Mongameli Bobani, Mafaya and ANC caucus leader Bicks Ndoni, said they would review the use of the building for council meetings.

"Security will be beefed up and we will review the use of these premises as a venue for the council meetings," said Ndoni.

"This building is not safe for use and we have observed this many times before. It is time we act before we have regretful occurrences again," he said.

Meanwhile, Mafaya said she would lay charges against Odendaal.

*This story has been updated since first publication.

Read more on:    da  |  port elizabeth  |  local government

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.