Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga plans to meet with newly appointed Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula to “look him in the eye” and determine if he was reliable in protecting the state and state property.
This comes after Msimanga stripped Tshwane metro (TMPD) chief Steven Ngobeni of discharging his functions at the State of the Capital address (Soca) last week.
According to the mayor, Ngobeni “got into his car and disappeared” when he was instructed to remove the disruptive ANC caucus from the council chambers – leading to a five-hour delay in the scheduled proceedings.
Msimanga said he engaged the office of State Security Minister David Mahlobo on security matters, but would like a personal meeting with the minister of police as neither the TMPD nor the South African Police Service heeded his call of action.
“We want to put it on record and we want a commitment on whether this behaviour is allowed moving forward. I want to look the minister (Mbalula) in the eye to determine if we can rely on him for protection of state-owned property or if we should find alternative ways of ensuring security and safety in this city,” he told the media in Centurion on Tuesday.
ANC councillors disturbed Msimanga’s maiden address, with one, Joel Masilela, walking into the chambers with a noose around his neck. The group re-enacted the hanging of Solomon Mahlangu, in an attempt to halt the sitting as the day was to honour the fallen icon.
But TMPD and police officers refused to remove the councillors, with some police officers saying: “The DA had a problem with us in parliament and now they want us in there? We are not going in there.”
Msimanga had previously shown distrust towards the chief of police, as the mayor had intentions during his election campaign last year of replacing Ngobeni with a career police officer.
Msimanga said it was clear the opposition [in the council] had an agenda of sabotage, since Ngobeni failed to perform his duties despite a detailed meeting last week to map out security measures.
Msimanga said the two decided to put the city first after he received intelligence of planned disruptions of Soca. But Ngobeni could not be dismissed nor suspended for his poor work as only council could vote for that.
But “no amount of disruption and sabotage will deter us from doing what we need to do”, the mayor said.