A member of Nelson Mandela Bay’s security team fired at least one shot in an attempt to disperse a fight at a council meeting on Thursday afternoon.
The council was meeting at the Wool Exchange where the new municipal manager, Vuyo Mlokoti, was meant to be announced.
A mayoral committee member and one other councillor were injured during the fight and taken to hospital, one with a bandage around his head.
Speaking after the chaos, Mayor Athol Trollip said: “I believe that the shot or shots were fired by a member of security who were called in.”
Trollip said the fight stemmed from an item on the agenda about the conduct of an ANC councillor at a recent IDP meeting in New Brighton. Two ANC councillors were apparently asked to leave the chamber after they refused to calm down.
“ANC councillors Makhi Feni and Andile Lungisa approached the speaker’s bench, which is sacrosanct with the view, in my opinion, to assault the speaker,” he said.
A fight ensued, with people “hurling glasses and jugs at full force”.
“DA councillor Rano Kayser is in hospital. One councillor from ANC, Rosie Daaminds collapsed. I did see blood on her face,” Trollip said.
“There are glass shards everywhere. That behaviour cannot be accepted in a constitutional democracy. The fact that we can’t have glasses and glass jugs in council is an indictment on us.”
Trollip rubbished reports that the shots had been fired by chief whip Werner Senekal.
“We do not bring firearms to council. One ANC councillor was seen carrying a knife,” he said.
“Senekal was stabbed in the back with a sharp object [a pen]. We will have to step up security unfortunately.”