Dangerous and stupid to hold Tshwane mayoral election on same day and place as ANC protest march

Issued by Cllr Jacqui Uys – DA Tshwane Caucus Chairperson
16 Mar 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached Afrikaans and English soundbite by Cllr Jacqui Uys.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has serious concerns about the decision of the Speaker’s Office in Tshwane to call a municipal council meeting to elect a mayor on the same day as a planned ANC march on Tshwane House. The meeting and the march are both scheduled for tomorrow at Tshwane House.

The decision seems calculated to give political advantage to the ANC-EFF coalition ahead of the highly contested mayoral election. Violence, intimidation and criminality already pervades meetings of the Tshwane municipal council. Earlier this week an election of speaker had to be rerun when ANC and EFF councillors stormed the voting area and seized the ballot box.

Video footage shows how the DA’s Shane Maas, our party agent in the election for speaker, was attacked from behind and kicked by the ANC councillor Joel Masilela. Several charges of assault lodged against Masilela by fellow councillors since 2016 have all been ignored by the South African Police.

The ANC-EFF candidate for speaker was declared the winner after 69 votes cast for his opponent, Kholofelo Morodi of ActionSA, were declared as “spoilt” by the IEC. Had the 69 votes not been declared irregular, then Morodi would’ve won.

When announcing the result, the IEC appointed presiding officer Rosina Mkhondo told the municipal council that her decision to invalidate the 69 votes would have no material effect on the outcome of the election – a bizarre, and patently false, statement.

Although party agents from the DA, ActionSA and the Freedom Front Plus registered formal objections to the decision of the IEC, to this day  none of the party agents have received a response to our objection.

To what extent the violence, intimidation and criminality inside the council chamber influenced the decisions of the IEC is not clear. What is clear is that holding a mayoral election at the same time and scene as an anti-DA march of the ANC is not conducive to a free and fair election environment.

The DA caucus leader in Tshwane, Cllr Cilliers Brink, has written to the office of the speaker to ask that the election of a mayor be postponed to a suitable day next week. We will also be lodging criminal charges for assault against the ANC councillor Masilela, and briefing attorneys to ensure that this time the matter is properly investigated.