There was drama once again in the Tshwane council as access to the chambers was restricted following violent clashes at a previous sitting‚ a move described by opposition as “apartheid-style” on Thursday.
There was a huge presence of Tshwane Metro Police Department officers manning the entrances into chambers at the Sammy Marks Centre in the city centre.
Councillors were asked to produced proof of identity before they were allowed in.
The African National Congress (ANC) described the move as an “apartheid-style”.
“Councillors of the ANC were subjected to an apartheid-style of access control. Secondly‚ this council meeting was not advertised as per legislation so that members of the public may be aware‚” said party leader Mapiti Matsena.
This challenge by the ANC was followed by points of order from all sides of the chamber as councillors shouted at and over each other.
Speaker Katlego Matheba struggled to get progress as councillors spent almost an hour debating the early agenda item of apologies.
The meeting was also disrupted when councillors realised that there were television cameras inside chambers.
Another bone of contention was the ANC’s complaint about a questionnaire given to councillors‚ which is part of an academic study being done by Ipsos for the University of Massachusetts in the US.
In the previous council meeting‚ a group of protesters clashed with police at the entrance and later councillors took on security personnel inside chambers.
This prompted Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Paul Mashatile to call a meeting with political parties to find a solution to the troubles faced at the council in the country’s capital city.