EFF councillors forcibly removed from Rustenburg council chambers
1 August 2018
Police have confirmed that the Rustenburg municipality has laid charges against EFF councillor Jane Mpolokeng after a scuffle ensued over the agenda at a council meeting on Tuesday.
"A case of assault and malicious damage to property has been registered by the Rustenburg Local Municipality. The suspect, Jane Mpolokeng, was briefly detained and released until further notice," Captain Elsabe Augoustides told News24.
The EFF, however, had a different version of events, alleging that Mpolokeng was assaulted by security officials during the disagreement.
"They were undressing her, kicking her, dragging her on the floor, handcuffing her," said Johannes Motshwane, who also represents the EFF in council.
He said a dispute started over the way the council's meeting agenda was issued, with the EFF believing it was not done according to the rules which stipulated that public participation was required.
The dispute escalated and the speaker briefly adjourned the sitting.
Motshwane said the ANC left the council chambers and the EFF stayed inside and sought clarity from the speaker.
When the sitting resumed, the ANC caucus remained outside, he continued.
"So all of a sudden the public safety manager comes in with four bouncers in white shirts," said Motshwane.
He said the EFF was told to leave the chambers, and so its councillors asked the security officials to call the speaker to clarify the situation.
He claimed that one of the security officials said: "F**k, I am not going to listen to this," and started heading for him.
They then went to Mpolokeng to remove her from the chambers.
"One was holding [Mpolokeng] on the foot, hitting her on the back," he said.
Complaint not recorded by officers
During the scuffle, he said, a traffic department official was hit by a door and the EFF members were accused of hitting an officer.
"Then they started beating [Mpolokeng]. Beating her and undressing her.
"Her body was exposed."
Motshwane said he was hit with chairs.
After that Mpolokeng was taken to the police station, and when she tried to lay a charge of assault, officers allegedly refused to record her complaint.
Motshwane said he was allowed to open a case, but Mpolokeng was kept in a cell and was allegedly denied medical treatment.
"She needs to go to the clinic. They... locked her inside a jail cell. They took even her car keys."
Augoustides confirmed that Motshwane had registered an assault case.
When contacted by News24, the municipality said it would not comment on the incident because it took place outside of the sitting.