A City of Johannesburg (CoJ) council meeting that descended into chaos after disruptions by ANC and EFF councillors on Thursday was, according to the ruling party, due to the DA “withholding democratic processes”.
On Thursday, The Citizen reported that, according to a member of the mayoral committee for economic development, Nkuli Mbundu, chaos broke out during the meeting after the ANC and EFF “discovered they lost and don’t have numbers even if they vote together”.
The meeting was subsequently postponed to next week.
Most councillors voted to elect Section 79 committee chairpersons by a show of hands, instead of the secret ballot that the parties had called for, Mbundu said.
These chairpersons hold the executive accountable through their oversight role.
ANC CoJ ‘sickened’
In a statement by the ANC caucus in the City of Joburg, the party said it was “utterly sickened” after the secret ballot voting process was refused by the Speaker of Council.
“This is going against the majority by attempting to impose voting by a show of hands, without substantial argument.”
The party blasted the DA for their “tyranny elements” that “continue to undermine and bring mockery to the national struggle for liberation, democratic processes and seeks to deny the residents of Johannesburg service delivery and accountability”.
The ANC CoJ caucus said they condemned the actions of the DA “with absolute contempt”, as well as “their erosion of capacity at the expense of the residents of Johannesburg.”
Joburg residents paying the ultimate price
Mbundu tweeted on Thursday that the real losers in collapsing of the council meeting are Johannesburg residents.
“Councilors serve at the behest of the citizens. Salaries paid for by the citizens. Even their meals while they are in council. The least councilors can do is respect the citizens.
“We’ve lost five hours today on frivolous objections at the expense of ratepayers and taxpayers.”