Councillors in City Hall hostage drama

APPLYING PRESSURE: Some of the angry SMME owners dance on top of tables during their protest at the City Hall yesterday. Picture By: Eugene Coetzee
APPLYING PRESSURE: Some of the angry SMME owners dance on top of tables during their protest at the City Hall yesterday. Picture By: Eugene Coetzee

CHAOS erupted at the Port Elizabeth City Hall yesterday when hundreds of small- and medium-business owners stormed the council chambers and held councillors and officials hostage, demanding to know when they would benefit from municipal tenders.

The group of about 250 SMME owners disrupted a municipal public accounts committee (MPAC) meeting at about 10am, singing and dancing on tables while hurling insults at city manager Mpilo Mbambisa.

They had invaded the municipality’s supply chain management offices in Harrower Road earlier, before making their way to the City Hall where they forced their way through security and gathered in the events hall, chanting and dancing.

When a Herald reporter entered the hall and tried to take a photograph of the gathering, she was roughly shoved around and manhandled by a group of men who demanded that she delete the photograph.

-Rochelle de Kock and Mkhululi Ndamase 

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