The violent behaviour of people who disrupted a summit hosted by City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has been condemned by the Gauteng Government.
Gauteng Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Paul Mashatile said on Wednesday that he was shocked at how the meeting‚ at Midrand High School‚ “descended into chaos” on Tuesday night.
Several people were injured during violent clashes as chairs‚ water bottles and a brick were used as weapons‚ according to an eye witness from the Economic Freedom Fighters.
Mashaba blamed the violence at the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) summit on disgruntled ANC councillors.
“The City of Joburg is left with no option but to lay criminal charges against ANC councillors who were leading this assault on our democracy and fuelling the violence‚” he said in a statement.
He called on Mashatile to intervene and end the violence.
Mashatile‚ in response‚ said that disciplinary steps should be taken against any person who was found to be responsible for the violence and intimidation‚ regardless of their political affiliation. But he cautioned against apportioning “selective blame” until the incident had been investigated.
“I have learnt with great shock that an IDP meeting descended into chaos. I condemn in the strongest terms the use of violence and perpetrators‚ when identified‚ must be brought to book‚” he said.
The Provincial Government‚ he added‚ appealed to citizens and politicians to be tolerant and resolve their differences through dialogue.
Mashaba accused the ANC of refusing to accept the outcome of the local government elections‚ which put the Democratic Alliance in control of the city‚ and said the party had resorted to violence to thwart the new administration’s efforts to serve residents.
The ANC Youth League‚ on the other hand‚ accused the DA-led municipality‚ the EFF and Johannesburg Metro Police Department of fanning the violence.