Pietermaritzburg - A Democratic Alliance councillor at Msunduzi Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal has described his shock when he heard an explosion during a council workshop at City Hall on Monday.
DA councillor Sibongiseni Majola sits less than a metre away from the entrance at Council Chambers where the explosion occurred on Monday.
"I was on the podium during the meeting when there was this loud bang. My initial thought was that a gun from one of the security officials had gone off, but then I saw this smoke coming through the door and that is when we got scared," said Majola.
Monday's meeting was part of a workshop where Msunduzi administrator Sibusiso Sithole was presenting his confidential turnaround plan for the city. The plan is said to have laid bare the problems that led to the near collapse of the municipality and fingered some officials and called for harsh action against wrongdoers.
Security officials stationed at council confirmed hearing the heavy sound in the building. They blamed inadequate security which they said places people, including officials and councillors, at risk.
"There are no scanners here and we do not conduct body searches on individuals, that is why people can come in with dangerous items," said one officer.
According to ANC Moses Mabhida Regional Task Team member Mzi Tebolla, the incident shows an agenda to make the municipality ungovernable. "We don't know why people would do this when there is so much effort made at making Msunduzi the kind of municipality that all of us can be proud of," said Tebolla. He expressed relief that no had been injured in the incident.
Police confirmed the incident. The explosives unit was summoned to the scene after a loud bang was heard at City Hall. Nothing was found and no case was opened. No injuries or damages reported, said police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala.
The incident took place just days after reports started circulating about threats made against Sithole. The municipality was placed under administration in April this year after a string of problems relating to governance and service delivery.
African News Agency (ANA)