Pretoria – Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) Chief Steve Ngobeni led his charges in blatantly defying instructions from Tshwane Council Speaker Rachel Mathebe as members of the opposition African National Congress ran amok, attacking fellow councillors and damaging property, Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga said on Tuesday.
"Before the State of the Capital Address (SOCA), we had a series of meetings after getting intelligence that there are planned disruptions. We had a meeting with the Chief of the Metro Police relating to that intelligence. We indicated to him to him that we wanted all precautionary measures taken, to ensure that the running of the event would go without a glitch. We got an undertaking that everything has been put in place," Msimanga said while addressing a media briefing in Centurion.
"When we went into the chambers as had been declared by the Speaker, we had disruptions from the first moment. The leader of the opposition (ANC) called for a moment of a silence and he made an undertaking that we would proceed after the moment of silence. After the moment of silence, one of his colleagues decided that they were not going to allow the proceedings to continue. They decided to hijack the whole thing and make it a Solomon Mahlangu event."
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Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga addressing media on the disruptions of his State of the Capital Address. Video: Jonisayi Maromo / ANA
Msimanga said the ANC councillors threatened to destroy the sound system if they were not given an opportunity to speak.
Mathebe adjourned the sitting to liaise with the councillors. "What was very telling was when one councillor declared himself the Speaker of Council and actually said on record that this was a coup d'état. You can appreciate that on a day when we are having an official event, for somebody to declaring that this is a government takeover is actually criminal. They declared themselves Speaker and Mayor, without being elected as such," said Msimanga.
As the pandemonium continued in the chambers, Mathebe instructed the TMPD to remove the ANC councillors. Msimanga said Ngobeni was present at that stage.