Fawzia Peer Picture: Zanele Zulu/African News Agency(ANA)

Durban - Fawzia Peer, the city's acting mayor, was rushed to hospital after allegedly consuming water that was thought to be poisoned. 

At a council meeting on Thursday, city speaker William Lekgoa Mapena, announced that there was paraffin in someone's water bottle. DA caucus leader in eThekwini, Councillor Nicole Graham, then took to Twitter saying councillors at the meeting were told not to drink the water. 

At that moment, Peer covered her mouth, according to a tweet by Graham.

"The Deputy Mayor just left abruptly covering her mouth. What the hell just happened?!" Graham said. 

The apparent poisoning comes after chaos erupted at the City Hall when city manager, Sipho Nzuza, arrived for the meeting. 

Guards rushed to protect Nzuza as he was heckled when he arrived. 

Graham said councillors aligned to suspended mayor, Zandile Gumede, said they did not want Nzuza at the meeting. 

Pushing and shoving ensued and the city manager's guards had to step in and surround him," she said.  

This is not the first time that Gumede supporters have made their voices heard. 

Earlier in the week, a group of about 300 supporters clashed with police during a march to the ANC provincial headquarters in the Durban CBD. 

Police had to use teargas to disperse the crowd. 

Gumede has been placed on special leave following her arrest. Gumede is also the chairman of the eThekwini Region ANC, the biggest in the country by numbers. The leadership of the region was suspended three weeks ago and a task team established; Gumede’s supporters are also seeking to have that task team dissolved. 

Gumede, senior councillor Mondli Mthembu and businessman Craig Poonan were charged in mid-May for graft relating to a R208 million Durban Solid Waste contract dating back to 2016.

This week, it was revealed that Nzuza has turned state witness in the case against Gumede. 

The Mercury