EFF member posts ominous threat against DA as petrol bombs fly in PE
Bonnie Lanke has said on Facebook the DA's IDP meetings will be subject to the same treatment land occupiers get.
EFF member Bonnie Lanke. Picture: Facebook
An ominous Facebook post from an EFF member in Nelson Mandela Bay on Friday morning has raised eyebrows in the city following a week of violence during which at least four Integrated Development Plan (IDP) meetings were disrupted in the city.
The most serious was on Thursday night, with reports of gunshots, petrol bombs and burning tyres at the Colchester Community Hall.
The violence is believed to be linked to opposition parties’ frustration at their failure to unseat mayor Athol Trollip as punishment from the EFF for the DA’s opposition in parliament to land expropriation without compensation.
They are also upset that the Patriotic Alliance (PA) switched sides and went into coalition with the DA, Cope and ACDP in the city, dimming hopes of removing Trollip until 2021.
In her post, EFF member Bonnie Lanke said that the EFF would do to the city’s IDP meetings what the “DA is doing to people who are occupying the land”. She also voiced a rejection of the DA in isiXhosa.
The EFF believes that black people should occupy unused land throughout South Africa, which is currently illegal. EFF leader Julius Malema is facing a court case relating to his call to his followers to occupy all vacant land. He is challenging the constitutionality of the charges against him, which are based on the Riotous Assemblies Act.
Earlier this week, the EFF vowed to do everything in its power to ensure that Trollip does not complete his term.
The party’s councillor Zilindile Vena vowed that even though plans to unseat Trollip through a no-confidence vote have fallen through, they will not stop until he is gone.
During a second no-confidence vote against Trollip on Tuesday, which dragged on for eight hours, chaotic scenes played out as the ANC and EFF refused to allow DA councillor Nqaba Bhanga to pay tribute to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
When Vena was later asked if he was orchestrating an attempt to completely collapse the council to bring about early municipal elections, he denied this.
Vena had earlier introduced Bonnie Lank, the poster of the above Facebook post, as one of his party’s members when she was sitting in the Nelson Mandela Bay council’s public gallery.
On Thursday night, The Citizen was sent photographs from the Colchester Community Hall following reports that live ammunition was fired outside the building, petrol bombs were thrown and several cars were damaged.
Herald Live also reported that “the community” burned tyres around the hall and “trashed a large number of municipal vehicles, as well as the private cars of the councillors”, with one vehicle petrol-bombed. The meeting had to be abandoned while community members and councillors waited for public order police to arrive and escort them safely out of the area.
The incident was confirmed by speaker Jonathan Lawack and the city’s safety and security boss John Best.
This was the fourth public participation meeting that had to be called off this week due to disruptions and violence.
The PA’s Marlon Daniels, who was on Wednesday introduced as the new MMC for roads and transport in the city, told The Citizen the opposition or its supporters have resorted to violence in their alleged frustration at being forced to remain the official opposition in the city.
The PA has vowed to keep Trollip in power until the 2021 elections, and also warned the ANC on Wednesday that it would pull out of its Ekurhuleni coalition with the ANC if the party does not support Daniels’ promotion to also become Port Elizabeth’s deputy mayor on top of his MMC job.