Cape Town - Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille and her mayoral committee members had to be evacuated when a meeting in Khayelitsha’s OR Tambo hall turned nasty.
Tuesday night’s disruptions came against the backdrop of threats by the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) to go ahead with plans to make the city and the Western Cape ungovernable.
De Lille was with mayco members Belinda Walker, Grant Pascoe and Thandeka Qgaba and housing director Seth Maqetuka.
The meeting dissolved into chaos around 8pm when Maqetuka tried to outline phased plans for housing delivery in the sprawling shack land of Khayelitsha. Members of the 400 strong crowd demanded their areas be prioritised over the zones identified by Maquetuka.
Chairs were hurled and angry residents stormed the stage, forcing the contingent to retreat through a back door.
Police arrived on the scene only after the mayor and her party had left the area.
In a statement issued in the wake of the disruption, De Lille said the “ANCYL has a lot to answer for”.
Describing the meeting as a “reportback to the community on how their input… has helped determine the city’s delivery priorities”, she said the behaviour of a “group of unruly youngsters” was “yet another example of how the ANCYL’s threat to make the city
ungovernable is impeding the rights of law-abiding citizens.
Earlier on Tuesday the secretary of the ANCYL’s Dullah Omar region, Mfuzo Zenzile, invited the media to a public meeting on Wednesday where the youth league would “unveil its plans to make the City of Cape Town and Western Cape ungovernable”.
But ANCYL spokesperson Nyameka Mguzulo distanced the organisation from on Tuesday night’s disruption.
“We don’t condone the anarchy and chaos caused at the OR Tambo Hall… We need to teach people how to raise issues without descending intoviolence.”
Mguzulo said the threatened strike action would not take place.
The announcement comes after a statement was issued by Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich distancing the trade union giant from threatened disruptions.
“Cosatu members who had concerns about the transport services on the day can rest assured that the transport will be running as usual,” Ehrenreich said.
But he remained critical of the DA, accusing the party of arrogance and failing to take into account the “desperate circumstances” of protesters.
De Lille has warned that disruptions could place the youth league on a collision course with the law.
“In consultation with the police, we have made provision for the deployment of an increased number of law enforcement staff to identified hotspots throughout the city.”