Port Elizabeth - Heated scenes played out at a Nelson Mandela Bay council meeting on Thursday when Patriotic Alliance (PA) councillor Marlon Daniels almost came to blows with Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor Gustav Rautenbach.
Tempers flared during the adjustment budget debate when Daniels - in a shock move - jumped on a table and threatened to “moer” [hit] Rautenbach. Other councillors intervened, acting as a buffer to keep Daniels from Rautenbach.
“Shut up! Ek het lank last 'n boer gemoer [I haven't beaten a white person/farmer in a long time],” said a visibly angry Daniels, pointing to Rautenbach.
Before the conflict arose, Daniels said that he was unhappy that money was being redirected from the northern areas of the metro. He said the DA was hypocritical in complaining because the party had done “nothing” for the northern areas under local government.
Daniels claimed the DA were insincere in complaining and did so only because it was election season.
Rautenbach then made a comment which angered Daniels, who threatened to hit him.
The DA’s Retief Odendaal had earlier sent a statement saying that the more than R50 million, budgeted for 11 Wards in the northern areas, would now be directed to other wards and projects.
The ANC’s Rory Riordan disputed the DA’s figures and said the DA were misleading the public. He said the budget for the northern area projects had risen from R9 million to R16 million.
Despite the drama, the adjustment budget was passed. The DA, Cope, ACDP and the PA voted against it.
Earlier on, a scuffle almost broke out when speaker Buyelwa Mafaya instructed DA turncoat councillor Victor Manyati to return to his seat.
Manyati had been sitting in the ANC benches.
An ANC councillor was seen pushing and shoving another individual, while chairs were flung around as Manyati attempted to get to a seat in the DA benches.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, opposition parties pressed for ANC councillor Bongo Nombiba to leave chambers citing his presence as “illegal”.
Last year, Nombiba was convicted of fraud and money laundering and sentenced to five years behind bars.
Last week the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed an application for leave to appeal his conviction and sentence.
Acting City Manager Peter Nielson sought legal advice which stated that Nombiba qualified to vote in council and had up until March 12 to lodge a further appeal.
It was ruled that Nombiba would stay on but the ACDP’s Lance Grootboom raised concerns on the Metro’s legal advice.
“We are not in agreement with the legal opinion because we don’t know the scope of the opinion and this legal opinion doesn’t make provision of the superior court act.”
“There’s nothing to say he lodged an application and there’s nothing to say he instructed an attorney. It’s only when an application is lodged then his conviction is suspended,” Grootboom said.
African News Agency/ANA