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Violence mars DA's IDP meeting

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The DA in Joburg is worried its coming meetings with communities on their development plans will be marred by violence and organised disruptions.

This after one of their leaders was attacked during a meeting on the city’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP) on Tuesday.

Andrew Osmond was left with a huge head gash and concussion.

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MAYHEM: The aftermath of an attack during an Integrated Development Plan meeting at Midrand High School on Tuesday. DA councillor Andrew Osmond, inset, was hit with a brick and the school vandalised. Pictures: Supplied and Matthews BaloyiMAYHEM: The aftermath of an attack during an Integrated Development Plan meeting at Midrand High School on Tuesday. DA councillor Andrew Osmond, inset, was hit with a brick and the school vandalised. Pictures: Supplied and Matthews Baloyi

Osmond, chairperson of the DA Midrand constituency, was among the people attending the IDP summit at Midrand High School.

The summit, called by mayor Herman Mashaba, deteriorated into chaos, allegedly when ANC members disrupted it.

Osmond was hit over the head with a brick. He said he was attacked from behind and did not see his assailant.

“People who saw it say I was hit on the head with a brick. I don’t know why I was attacked, but it might be because I was wearing a DA T-shirt.”

Osmond was rushed to hospital after the attack.

“When I went to hospital, I had a concussion. They performed a CT scan and I was discharged. I am relieved I was not seriously injured.”

Midrand constituency chair councillor Annette Deppe said there were not enough metro police officers at the venue.

“There was not enough manpower to stop the attacks. It took them 45 minutes to calm down the situation.”

Mashaba’s spokesperson, Tony Taverna-Turisan, said the DA was planning to open criminal charges against three ANC members. He said Mashaba consulted City of Joburg Speaker Vasco da Gama and Ndivhoniswani Lukhwareni regarding opening criminal cases.

Taverna-Turisan said the attacks on the mayor’s IDP meetings seemed orchestrated. “All the IDPs that we have hosted have been disrupted in some way. It seems there is a drive by the ANC to discredit the new leaders of the city. They have been on a drive to disrupt council meetings and all public consultations.”

Taverna-Turisan said they were worried about the five more IDPs that were still going to be held across the province.

“Safety is a major concern. The problem is that the violence affects innocent residents who want to be part of public consultations with the mayor.”

Gauteng ANC spokesperson Jolidee Matongo condemned the violence and denied that their members caused the fracas.

“We want to place it on record that no ANC member incited violence at the meeting. It is the EFF and DA members clad in party regalia who started the disruption that ended up in violent attacks on members of the public.”

Matongo claimed one of their members, who the DA wants to open a case against, was also injured during the incident.

“It is deplorable for Mashaba to accuse ANC councillors of fuelling the violence, whereas they tried relentlessly to quell the violence. The ANC will take all steps necessary to defend its councillors, including in the courts,” he said.

“The ANC calls upon all its members to attend the IDP sessions in large numbers to contribute positively in shaping the future of our city. We want to warn Mashaba to stop peddling lies about the ANC and its leaders.”

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