by Andrew Louw MPL – DA Provincial Leader in the Northern Cape
Date: 02 July 2017
Type: Press Statement
The Democratic Alliance will lay criminal charges against the Speaker of the Ga-Segonyana Local Municipality, Cllr Tuelo Meyers, following a physical assault on one of our councillors during a council meeting on Thursday. We will also submit a motion of no confidence in council, as he has proved that he is not fit to hold office.
Today’s meeting was held to discuss the position of the municipal manager. While the incumbent is facing 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 fluent in Setswana to follow the discussion. Our councillors repeatedly tried to raise points of order for clarity on what was being 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 became 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 further.
After the Speaker was pulled back, he picked up a pen and threw it at councillor Nelson. The violence was videotaped by another councillor and we will be submitting it as evidence.
When the council meeting reconvened, Councillor Aucamp tabled a motion of no confidence in the speaker as well as a motion for council to reject this violent behaviour with the contempt it deserves. We welcome the fact that council has agreed that the mayor must launch an immediate investigation, as this outburst clearly violates the municipal code of conduct. Our motion of no confidence will be voted on once the investigation is complete.
It is absolutely unacceptable that any speaker in any municipality displays any sort of violence towards a councillor. 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 neighbouring municipality, Johannes Baaitjies, was brutally assassinated for his political views. At the start of the year, councillor Aucamp was assaulted and threatened with death by an ANC member after a community meeting. Now we see that yet another councillor is physically attacked in the chambers of council, which are supposed to represent democracy.
We will not tolerate or entertain any attacks of any of our councillors.
Andrew Louw MPL
DA Provincial Leader in the Northern Cape
082 383 6914
071 251 5558