WATCH: AbaQulusi’s councillors flee chambers screaming, vomiting and terrified

Councillors first take cover under the tables when people from the gallery start throwing things into the council chambers.

AbaQulusi’s councillors were driven from the council chambers terrified and screaming this afternoon, during a meeting in which a new mayor was supposed to have been sworn in.

Some councillors had vomited and others had fainted before they could escape the onslaught of objects being hurled at them from the public gallery.

Posted by Zwakele Ngqondo-Ngqondo Mncwango on Thursday, 11 May 2017

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) members, protesting against Cllr Mncedisi Maphisa (an IFP PR councillor) being chosen as the new mayor, released tear gas in the council chambers and began throwing eggs, oranges and sour milk from the gallery before the meeting was even properly underway.

Councillors first take cover under the tables when people from the gallery start throwing things into the council chambers.

“Kill Maphisa! We don’t want him!” shouted IFP members from the gallery.

The chaos ensued shortly after the Cllr Martin Mtshali’s (current IFP mayor and ward councillor for Mondlo) resignation was tabled as the first item on the council’s agenda, and the meeting could not proceed further.

The public gallery was packed with IFP members and supporters who want Cllr Mtshali to remain mayor of AbaQulusi.

Never had the division with the IFP been more apparent since last year’s local government elections, with local IFP structures backing Cllr Mtshali as mayor, while provincial and national structures are putting pressure on Cllr Mtshali to step down intending for Cllr Maphisa to take over.

Councillors took refuge in the mayor’s parlour until the crowd of IFP supporters inside the council chambers were ushered out by military police.

A councillors jacket covered in sour milk and eggs.

Before Cllr Maphisa began pursuing his career in local government he was a cleaner at Vryheid High School.

Mtshali supporters shouted that they would rather kill Cllr Maphisa than have him be the next mayor.

Cllr Mtshali’s short term as mayor was marred with controversy after he was found guilty by the Department of Education for misappropriating R400 000 in school fees from a Mondlo school, where he served as principal.

  AUTHOR
Estella Naicker

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