Bay council in chaos as security attempt to remove DA councillor
The Nelson Mandela Bay council meeting degenerated into chaos on Tuesday morning after attempts by security to eject Lutho Sokudela, a recently sworn in DA councillor, from the council chamber.
At the first council meeting with the DA in the opposition benches, councillors of the party rallied around Sokudela, forming a human shield, in a bid to prevent security from forcefully removing him.
It all started as both Sokudela and Victor Manyati turned up for the meeting.
Sokudela was sworn in as Manyati’s replacement a couple of weeks ago. However, on Thursday the Port Elizabeth High Court ruled that Manyati remained a DA member and a councillor until he either resigned, or the party concludes his disciplinary hearing in accordance with its constitution.
At Tuesday’s council meeting, city manager Johann Mettler advised that in accordance with the court judgment, Manyati was still a councillor and the matter was being handled by the IEC.
This caused a furore, with the DA adamant that Manyati was no longer a member of its party and thus should not be in the chamber.
Manyati was instrumental in assisting the ANC, UDM, EFF, AIC and United Front in removing the DA-led coalition from power a month ago.
As speaker Buyelwa Mafaya instructed security officers to remove Sokudela, DA councillors jumped to his defence and formed a ring around him.
A screaming match ensued between councillors of the various parties and between DA councillors and security officials.
The DA councillors used chairs to block the security from reaching Sokudela and others could be seen jumping between benches.
The meeting was eventually adjourned by Mafaya until Thursday because she lost control of the meeting.
At a press briefing after the meeting, chief whip Bicks Ndoni said the council chamber was a disaster waiting to happen. He said the chamber was congested.
"Let us get a clear assessment of whether we would ever use this chamber for council. Once there's commotion is becomes problematic.
“We urged our councillors not to act and respond. The DA were trying to provoke us...