Forum 4 Service Delivery councillor Napoleon Webster. PHOTO: ANA

Rustenburg - Economic Freedom Fighters  (EFF) and Forum 4 Service Delivery (F4SD) councillors staged a walk out at the Rustenburg council meeting on Tuesday.

They were protesting against the council resolution to increase municipal manager Nqobile Sithole's salary after she had completed her six months probation with the municipality.

She signed a five year contract with the municipality with a six month probation period after which the council reviewed her performance and moved her to the next salary scale.

The meeting to review her performance was held in camera. When the meeting was opened for all, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) asked Speaker Sheila Mabale-Huma to excused them from the meeting, before Single Whip Lekgotla Mataboge could read the council resolutions.

"What the council is doing is illegal, we do not want to be part of it, we therefore want to be excused from this meeting," said Abinaar Matlhoko of the EFF.

Napoleon Webster for the F4SD raised his hand and said: "In solidarity". 

The two opposition parties left council chambers while African National Congress (ANC) councillors clapped hands as they leave.

At the beginning of the meeting, Johannes Motshwane requested for the opposition parties to caucus, and when they returned the Democratic Alliance (DA) requested to have their own caucus.

At the early stage of the meeting Matlhoko raised a concern that they were being intimidated by people carrying placards in the public gallery.

"Madam Speaker we are intimidated. There are people with placards in the gallery. The cannot protest here, they must go outside," he said.

Webster also complained that he was previously intimidated and nothing was done.

"This is rubbish. Remove the f*****g hooligans. If you bring hooligans you mean we must bring our own hooligans. I raised this before, I was intimidated at the toilet and you did nothing," he told Mabale-Huma.

Some of community members attending the meeting held placard reading: "Webster Sabata's blood in your hands".

Webster is part of 14 Marikana men accused of hacking Sabata Petros Chale to death in Marikana West on December 8, 2016. They allegedly drank his blood after hacking him.

The were due to appear in the North West High Court sitting in Mogwase on December 8.

Municipal police took the placards from the people in the gallery, others read "Viva mayor Khonou viva" while another read "Clr Tsamai is a thief". This followed a report in a national newspaper alleged that Agnes Tsamai of the DA and Johannes Motshwane of the EFF received money from Gustav Clappen.

According to the report he allegedly paid Motshwane more than R30 000 and fixed his car several times for free. He also offered to pay for Motshwane and Tsama's holiday but that did not materialised. 

Clappen allegedly paid Motshwane after he had promised to help him to recoup his money from the Rustenburg municipality, he fixed municipal vehicles and was owed over R3 million at the time.

The municipality paid him in two instalments after he met Motshwane. In the report both denied that they received favours from Clappen.

Ofentse Kombe of the Boitekong Community Movement (BCM) said there was a clear attempt by the EFF and F4SD to mislead community members and destabilise the council.

"The illegality that they base their walkout on has no legal backing and they have failed to quote a single piece of legislation in that regard. We urge the community of Rustenburg to be vigilant against attempts to use them to fight personal and political battles all disguised as advocating for the plight of the community," he said.

BCM is in an alliance with the ANC.

The opposition alliance cracked further when the DA remained in council while their partners walked out of the meeting.

Outside the chamber concern community members said politicians failed to debate issues and walked out

"We do not want you at Amperboom, it is not a political matter. It is too hot for you in council you walked out," said Geoff Moeletsi leader of concerned group.

This was after EFF councillor Jane Mpolokeng approached some community members inquiring about their housing problem at Amperboon in Geelhout Park.