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DA threatens criminal charges against EFF after disrupted Tshwane budget speech meeting

The EFF councillors disrupted the council meeting on Thursday calling for officials to address striking security guards and general workers outside Council House on Thursday.

The DA has threatened to open criminal charges against EFF councillors, accusing them of “violent and aggressive behaviour towards officials” during a collapsed Tshwane budget speech meeting on Thursday.

Aside from the TMPD and police firing rubber bullets that left several protesters injured outside Tshwane House, the municipality’s 2022/23 financial year budget speech meeting was also characterised by chaos inside council chambers.

MMC for Finance, Peter Sutton, was supposed to present the speech on Thursday but the EFF councillors disrupted the meeting, calling on officials to address security guards and general workers that were protesting outside council. The meeting did not start due to disruptions and many councillors were stuck outside as council gates were blocked by protesters.

“Six months without pay, the workers of Tshwane are suffering. Down with exploitation of workers,” EFF councillors shouted.

Photo: Reitumetse Mahope

The EFF councillors disrupted the meeting by turning over tables. One councillor was seen throwing a chair at a table where senior councillors were seated. No one was injured.


Freedom Front Plus Mark Surgeon was involved in a heated argument with EFF councillors when they tossed tables. Shouts of “voetsek” were screamed at Surgeon. The councillors including the EFF Tshwane leader Obakeng Ramabodu also went to the speaker’s podium and snatched a document from the Speaker.

Cables were also disconnected of the officials’ computers, including the acting city manager Mmaseabata Mutlaneng’s computer. When the council security officials intervened an hour into the meeting, there were aggressive pushes between the officials but things calmed down again. Councillors had casual conversations in the half empty council chamber, while the EFF councillors continued to chant.

Following the collapsed council, DA councillor Jacqui Uys said the party would open criminal charges against the EFF councillors, next week Monday at Pretoria Central police station.

“The DA will lodge a criminal complaint against EFF councillors following their violent and aggressive behaviour towards city officials, council members and the destruction and vandalising of city property.
“EFF councillors destroyed Council property, ripped out electronics, and then proceeded to throw tables and chairs to disrupt today’s [Thursday] council meeting.”

Speaker Dr Murunwa Makwarela said that the EFF councillors were referred to the rules and ethics committee for the disruptions.
“The committee will address the behaviour of councillors and issue appropriate sanctions for their conduct. The committee is designed to deal with the behaviour of councillors,” Makwarela.
Makwarela said he decided to call off the meeting for safety reasons as there was a picket outside.
He said the municipality still needed to assess the extent of the damages.
“The department of group property are busy conducting those assessments,” Makwarela said.

Addressing protesters outside, EFF’s Obakeng Ramabodu said they disrupted council due to the metro not including the needs of the metro employees.
“Any budget that will be tabled without the inclusion of workers is a sell-out position. We will shut this town down until Randall [mayor Randall Williams] makes sure the workers are insourced, waste management workers are back and the wage increase [from 2021] is implemented.


Last month, Williams said the metro could not insource all the workers due to financial issues.

Despite the chaos on Thursday, Sutton delivered the speech on Friday in a virtual council meeting.
Ramabodu had yet to respond to requests for comment on the events that transpired inside council.

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