The Democratic Alliance (DA) will lay criminal charges against the Speaker of the Ga-Segonyana local municipality, Councillor Tuelo Meyers, following a physical assault on one of the DA councillors during a council meeting on Thursday 29 June 2017.
According to Andrew Louw - MPL and DA Provincial Leader in the Northern Cape, the DA will also sub-mit a motion of no confidence in the councillor, as he has proven that he is not fit to hold office.
Thursday's meeting was held to discuss the position of the municipal manager. While the incumbent is fa-cing serious charges of fraud, the ANC councillors are pushing for his contract to be extended.
A portion of the council meeting was conducted in Setswana and the lack of an interpreter made it difficult for those councillors who are not flu-ent in Setswana to follow the dis-cussion. The DA councillors repeat-edly tried to raise points of order for clarity on what had been discussed, which the speaker blatantly ignored. He then decided to call for a break in the proceedings.
At this point, DA councillor Lea Nelson approached him to ask what was happening. The speaker be-came physically violent, shoved his finger against her nose and punched her against the shoulder so hard that she had to step back. DA councillor Willie Aucamp had to intervene to prevent the speaker from assaulting her any further.
After the speaker was pulled back, he picked up a pen and threw it at Councillor Nelson. The violence was video-taped by another councillor and the DA will be submitting it as evidence.
When the council meeting recon-vened, Councillor Aucamp tabled a motion of no confidence in the spea-ker as well as a motion for council to reject this violent behaviour with the contempt it deserves. The DA wel-comes the fact that council has ag-reed that the mayor must launch an immediate investigation, as this outburst clearly violates the munici-pal code of conduct. The DA's mo-tion of no confidence will be voted on once the investigation is complete.
Mr Louw is of the belief that it is ab-solutely unacceptable that any speaker in any municipality displays any sort of violence towards a coun-cillor. This thuggish behaviour is a violation of the basic principles of democracy and governance.
There has been an escalation of political violence in the region. Shortly after the local government elections, a DA councillor in a neigh-bouring municipality Kgatelopele, Johannes Baaitjies, was brutally as-sassinated for his political views.
At the start of the year, Councillor Aucamp was assaulted and threat-ened with death by an ANC member after a community meeting.
Now yet another councillor was physically attacked in the chambers of council, which are supposed to represent democracy. “The DA will not to-lerate or entertain any attacks on any of their coun-cillors,” Mr Louw con-cluded.
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