Amathole mayor calls for probe after video of armed guards dragging councillor from her office

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
  • The removal of a municipal official from the Amathole District Municipality's offices has sparked outrage.
  • Nanziwe Rulashe was dragged from her office on Monday, allegedly by armed security guards, and was injured in the process.
  • Mayor Nceba Ndikinda has vowed to investigate the incident.

Amathole District Municipality Mayor Nceba Ndikinda has asked for an investigation into allegations that a councillor was assaulted at municipal offices in East London on Monday.

Videos are circulating on social media of mayco member Nanziwe Rulashe being dragged from her office.

READ | 'We are going hard on this phenomenon' - Cele says task team will probe Tshwane political violence

Rulashe said the alleged assault stemmed from a disagreement with a municipal official during a strategic meeting.

Rulashe said:

I was in my office when a woman came and said she was head of security and had been instructed to remove me from the building because I was disrupting a meeting.

The woman was accompanied by armed men who dragged her from her office, injuring her in the process, she alleged.

It is alleged that the instruction to have Rulashe removed was issued by municipal manager Thembekile Mnyimba.

READ | Broke Amathole District Municipality blames Eastern Cape Cogta for its mess, Parliament hears

When asked for a response to the allegation, Mnyimba referred News24 to a statement which the municipality released.

In it, the municipality distanced itself from the alleged assault and said: "It is very sad to view and read about the alleged incident that took place in ADM head offices yesterday. [The] Amathole District Municipality council, including the executive management, distances itself from disturbing scenes circulating on social media platforms with the contempt it deserves. This matter will be fully investigated and as the executive mayor, I will act accordingly."

Eastern Cape police spokesperson Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana said Cambridge police were investigating a case of assault, malicious damage to property and intimidation, and added that five people, aged 23 to 43, were arrested on Monday.

They were released on R500 bail each and are expected to appear in the East London Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

"The circumstances surrounding the incident are not clear at this stage. The investigation continues," Kinana added.

ANC regional secretary Thembalethu Ntutu called on the mayor to issue a report to the ANC.

The ANC in the Eastern Cape strongly condemned the "abhorrent and vicious attack".

"This behaviour is unacceptable. Seeing a public representative being dragged out of office by security officials on the alleged instructions from a municipal manager and [head of department] can never be tolerated," said provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukayitobi.

"We call for decisive action against all those involved in this abhorrent display of gender-based violence and [for them to] be brought to book. We further call on [the] MEC of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) to urgently investigate this despicable and distasteful act."

Cogta MEC Xolile Nqatha said he was "utterly disgusted" by the incident.

He has written to the leadership of the municipality to ask them to provide him with a report on the steps they are going to take to ensure all those involved are held accountable.

Cosatu in the Eastern Cape said it was "shocked and appalled" by the alleged assault.

"This incident is a manifestation of a deep-seated crisis in the institution. It confirms the 'reign of terror' at [the] Amathole District Municipality and the usage of bouncers at the institution. Furthermore, this incident confirms [the] SA Municipal Workers' Union's assertion that [the] Amathole District Municipality is not a conducive environment for workers to work in. A permanent solution must be found to deal with these challenges."

Did you know you can listen to articles? Subscribe to News24 for access to this exciting feature and more.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Show Comments ()
Voting Booth
Many companies are asking employees to return to office full time after years of remote/hybrid settings. What are your thoughts?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
I can't wait to be back!
18% - 573 votes
No thanks, remote work is the future
23% - 710 votes
Hybrid is the best option to keep everyone happy
59% - 1823 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.