Cape Town - The DA has accused the ANC of sponsoring disruption during the first day of the Western Cape Provincial Powers Bill (WCPPB) public participation process in Worcester.
Isaac Sileku, DA MPL and chairperson of the ad-hoc committee on WCPPB, said that during the hearing on Monday, while parts of the meeting saw robust dialogue between voices both for and against the bill, a substantial number of ANC supporters sought to disrupt the proceedings.
“This included harassment of speakers that were voicing their support of the bill, intimidation and violent behaviour towards members of the committee, and threats of politically motivated violence. Ultimately, ANC disruptions meant the hearing had to be adjourned some minutes ahead of schedule,” said Sileku.
He said the behaviour of the ANC was deeply concerning and undoubtedly an effect of inflammatory ANC rhetoric in recent weeks.
He said despite the fact that public participation was a vital part of South Africa’s democracy, the ANC had repeatedly threatened to take measures to muzzle the public and stop these hearings, including legal action.
“Now, it seems that they have mobilised their supporters to intimidate and harass those with whom they disagree. Several ANC public representatives encouraged and stoked this behaviour during the meeting,” said Sileku.
Pat Marran, ANC member of the ad-hoc committee, said his party rejected these allegations but that it was true that the ANC had mobilised its members to attend, but only to oppose the bill.
“Video footage as well as photos will show how ANC members and supporters peacefully made submissions to reject the bill, despite the biases of the ad-hoc committee chairperson in favour of the DA,” said Marran.
“From the onset, it was clear that DA members had lost appetite for the hearing as they could see the number of ANC supporters present.
“Video footage of ANC supporters making submissions is clearly visible. What causes a bit of chaos at the end is when member Gillion Bosman grabs the mic and adjourns the meeting, to the amazement of the meeting chairperson.
“In fact, DA members should be charged for their actions as they do not respect democratic processes.