The ActionSA motion brought forth to the Speaker of the eThekwini Municipality, calling for the immediate insourcing of all security personnel by the Municipality will be debated during today’s council meeting.
We were very pleased when a team of security personnel gathered outside the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC), where the council meeting is taking place, peacefully demonstrating that they support the call made by ActionSA and will be attending the council meeting as members of the public to demonstrate their support for their support for our motion.
The group of security personnel requested to enter the council meeting and listen to the proceedings, and we were made aware that members of the public were denied entering the venue as they had demonstrated outside.
ActionSA’s councillor brought the matter before the full Council, however, the Speaker, Thabani Nyawose, denied them entry.
We were surprised with the Speaker’s decision to agree with the ANC councillor who said the public must not be allowed in a meeting that is in the public interest.
The ANC falsely accused the group of wanting to incite a demonstration whilst the meeting is in progress.
One must note that the group did not have weapons in their possession, nor did the placards they had incite any violence or make any incendiary remarks.
Furthermore, the Speaker, who was also supported by the Mayor, saw it fit to illegally bar the group despite the fact they will enter the meeting as members of the public, who wish to witness the progression of the council meeting.
Unfortunately, this is not commensurate with the prescripts of section 20 of the Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000, which states that:
“Meetings of a municipal council and those of its committees are open to the public, including the media, and the council or such committees may not exclude the public, including the media, from a meeting.”
Therefore, we are currently engaging with our legal team to explore possible recourse against the eThekwini Council Speaker.