War of words in chambers

Alfred Moselakgomo

A DA councillor in Mpumalanga was ordered to leave the council chambers after an argument with the acting deputy speaker of the Thaba Chweu municipality, Joseph Pooe.

DA councillor Pieter de Wit was ordered to leave the chambers when he made point of order questioning how the meeting was being conducted by Pooe.

The incident happened after ANC councillor Jacob Segoane asked why his motion had not been captured seeing that the right procedure had been followed.

Pooe said that it was his prerogative to decide which motion may or may not be captured.

He added that since the motion had been discussed at the ANC caucus, Segoane could follow other avenues to pursue his case.

DA's Sonja Boshoff then asked Pooe to enlighten the chamber about the contents of the motion.

Pooe reiterated that the motion had no bearing on the meeting and that the matter was not open for discussion.

De Wit, on a point of order, said the council was not being conducted in a manner befitting a democracy because decisions were being taken unilaterally.

Pooe asked De Wit to sit down or leave the chambers, but the DA councillor said he had a right to be heard and remained on the floor.

Pooe then asked traffic officers to remove De Wit from the council chambers.

After De Wit was removed, the Lukas Mkhababela of the ANC told the chambers that since the ANC was the ruling party, it was at liberty to make decisions that suited it.

It is understood that the motion that was to be tabled had a bearing on a former councillor David Dube, who had allegedly used council money to buy tyres for his personal vehicle.

Boshoff said: "The ANC must be reminded that an act of arrogance, if unchecked, feeds on itself and inevitably returns in a more virulent and damaging form.

"This is what could happen, should the voices of society not be heard and there is no regard for public accountability.

When asked for comment yesterday the municipal authorities said Pooe was not in and would comment when he returns to the office tomorrow.