Johannesburg - Reports that Nelson Mandela Metro mayor Zanoxolo Wayile was being held hostage inside the ANC's Port Elizabeth offices were false, an official said on Thursday.
“This story is a fabrication,” regional chairman Nceba Faku said.
“It is not possible for branch members to hold a mayor hostage in the presence of NEC - national executive committee - members; it's impossible.”
Faku said the ANC NEC, regional executive committee members and staff in the mayors' office were disturbed when they met at the party's Nelson Mandela Bay region headquarters on Monday.
A group of African National Congress members from various branches entered a room adjacent to theirs.
“The group was rowdy and was disturbing our meeting. They were demanding to speak to the NEC members about resolutions taken by branches of the ANC.”
This related to a resolution taken in April by the regional congress that Wayile, deputy mayor Nancy Sihlwayi, speaker Maria Hermans and chief whip Fesiwe Sibeko should step down.
Faku said the NEC members agreed to listen to what the branch members had to say. During the meeting, a number of people protested outside the building and security staff decided to lock the doors, he said.
When Wayile, who was in the building, wanted to leave, but the security guard could not be found so the door could not be unlocked.
Police were then called to come open the padlock on the door, said Faku.
“The truth of the matter is 1/8they 3/8 want the mayor, speaker and deputy mayor out... - and - people are exploiting every opportunity - hey can -,” he said. - Sapa