Council members pepper-sprayed, pelted with bricks

EFF councillors were allegedly sprayed with pepper gas and pelted with bricks after disrupting a Madibeng council meeting last week.

Madibeng town hall, where the incident occurred.

The appointment of the new municipal manager was on the agenda but then withdrawn. EFF councillors wanted to know why it was withdrawn if it was on the agenda. A scuffle between EFF councillors and ‘bouncers’ ensued at the town hall where the meeting took place and pepper gas was sprayed causing councillors in the meeting to start coughing.

According to councillors who were outside the building at the time, they saw EFF councillors followed by bouncers running from the building. “We saw bricks being pelted at the councillors. One man was hit in the back and head and he went down.” Some councillors sustained injuries and a case was opened at the Brits police station.

Upon enquiries about the matter, mayoral spokesperson, Senzo Ncongolo said the Office of the Executive Mayor has learnt about the incident through media reports. “Council proceeded well with its business and concluded. Such alleged incidents might have happened outside the council venue and if councillors were involved, then it should be reported to the Office of the Speaker. The council security arrangements is the responsibility of administration and the Executive Mayor does not get involved in administration, he said.

Madibeng spokesperson, Tumelo Tshabalala said pepper spray was not used in the council meeting. “What transpired is that some councillors elected to walk out of the council meeting. They then returned and disrupted the council proceedings in protest of a quorum. The Speaker, as the chairperson of the meeting, then instructed municipal security personnel to close the front doors of the Town Hall, where the disruption was taking place. The municipality learnt through various media platforms that there was a commotion outside the hall with allegations that some councillors were beaten up. The municipality is yet to receive any complaint about the said incident. It has to be noted that the council meeting proceeded well and concluded all matters on the agenda,” Tshabalala said.