The ANC’s national leadership has strongly condemned the violence in Thursday’s Nelson Mandela Bay council meeting, saying it has no place in democracy.
National spokesman, Zizi Kodwa, said no amount of “blame game” would ever explain or condone the bloodshed in the council chamber.
“People who were elected democratically must persuade and win each other through debates,” Kodwa said this morning.
Kodwa is the only ANC leader who has condemned the violence that broke out on Thursday.
The regional and provincial leaders, on Thursday, blamed the DA-led coalition for the brawl, which saw two councillors taken to the hospital in ambulances.
Glass jugs and glasses were hurled inside the chambers and at least one gunshot was fired.
Kodwa said: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms the violence. Law enforcement agencies must act, including political parties represented; they must not defend such violence.
“Whoever is found to have instigated or started this, each political party must show decisiveness because what happened in the council chamber is unheard of anywhere. It must not be tolerated.
“There is no amount of blame game that can make the public to understand what happened.”
He said the ANC was waiting for a full report of what transpired before they acted against any of their members.
“As the ANC, we will take decisive action. We can’t send people to represent our constituencies and they not only bring the name of the ANC into disrepute, but they betray the trust of our people.
“These are public representatives, public. To see blood on the floor in a constitutional democracy in the council chamber, it’s a sad day for our democracy,” Kodwa said.
He wished the injured councillors a speedy recovery.
Meanwhile, Nafcoc in the Bay has also come out to condemn the chaos in the meeting.
Acting general secretary Mandla Msizi said: “Leaders we have elected to represent our political interests as business community and community at large are expect that they will hold the highest dignity for their constituencies, community and political parties.
“Over and above being representatives of their political parties, they are representatives of their communities, city and province.
“Their actions and behaviour can be easily transferred to their constituencies, community and political parties which can easily lead to an ungovernable state.”
Msizi said the economy of the city, province and country was unstable and could ill-afford political and administrative instability.
“When our leaders focus their energies and time on their political and other indifferences, the losers at the end of the day will be the people of the Nelson Mandela Bay.
“The fact that council meetings’ security has to be raised to an extent that council members have to be frisked is embarrassing for a democratic government and leaders of a community.
“We call on our leaders to do what is best for the people, the city, the province and the country,” Msizi said.