The outrageous violence in Johannesburg which was targeted to breach the relative peace in the area has been strongly condemned. However the ANC have been accused of being the brain behind the terrible debacle, by the executive mayor Herman Mashaba.
“Today the ANC staged an orchestrated attack on our democracy under the auspices of their front-organisation‚ the Johannesburg Social Movement (JSM). This was a blatant attempt to prevent Council from passing the adjustment budget and bringing change to the residents of Joburg‚” Mashaba said in a statement.
“We will not be deterred‚ the people’s business will be done‚” he added.
He condemned the violence‚ saying it had no place in a democracy.
“Those responsible for the violence and damage to City property today must be held accountable and I will be laying criminal charges at the Joburg Central Police Station tomorrow morning.”
Mashaba said the protest was clearly organised by the ANC in a bid to derail council proceedings.
“The blame must be put squarely at the feet of the ANC who assisted the protesters in storming the Council Chamber and threatening the lives of councillors and City employees alike.”
He charged that the march was led by the JSM‚ an organisation set up by ANC members to discredit the new administration.
“JSM’s frontman‚ Tshepang Mokgatla‚ was the ANC’s councillor candidate for the recent elections in ward 125. He lost that ward to the DA and is now dedicating his time to destabilising this administration.”
Mashaba said the JSM had received approval for a march of 300 people but arrived at the Council building with an estimated 1‚000 individuals. The ANC Caucus left Council to address their members and then led them into the Council building where the ensuing havoc broke out.
“Notably‚ many ANC councillors arrived today in yellow jackets for the first time‚ similar to those worn by the protestors and could clearly be used as a means to distinguish between ANC councillors and all other councillors whose lives were placed at risk.
“Today’s incident is an assault on our democracy and it is clear that the ANC do not accept the outcomes of the free and fair elections last year. The ANC is a shadow of its former self and it’s no wonder that they were rejected by the voters of this City‚” Mashaba asserted.
“This violence is about preventing us from tabling our adjustment budget for the 2016/17 financial year. This adjustment budget is a vitally important first step in ending the rot and patronage that was seen under the ANC in Joburg. It is clear that the ANC will do anything in its power to prevent this from happening.
“I have a message for the ANC: You will not intimidate us‚ you will not stop us from fulfilling the mandate for change that the residents of our City have given us.
“Today’s Council will continue. Whether it takes all day and night‚ we will pass the adjustment budget and usher in a new era of change for our beautiful city‚” Mashaba added.