Anger as EFF’s assault case against ANC withdrawn
Although it took less than four minutes to deal with Ndlambe Municipality employees and ANC members appearing in the Port Alfred magistrate’s court on assault charges on Monday, it took a warning by magistrate Lindelwa Figlan for political opponents to cease their volatile displays of emotion inside the court.
Seven municipal employees and ANC members appeared in court in connection with the alleged assault of EFF members during a protest on June 18 and 19. In the dock were Sibusiso Zweni, Luvuyo Tumani, Maradona Swaartbooi, Juluka Mafele, Donald Zinquntu, Mbulelo Veto and Goodman Mtatana.
The men in the dock were supported by a large number of municipal workers – from general workers to top officials. The court was not big enough to accommodate them all, with some supporters waiting outside singing.
The case was withdrawn provisionally and dockets will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for a final decision.
It also appeared that there was a new docket submitted which was going to be linked with the previous docket and submitted together to the DPP.
The latter was linked to other officials who were not mentioned by name and were also not part of the seven in court. Municipal employees and ANC members were thrilled by the court outcome, singing all the way from court on their way back to the municipal offices.
EFF members who had filed the complaint were unhappy.
Speaking to TotT before the municipal workers’ case came up, Local EFF leader Xolisa Runeli had said the support shown by municipal employees was a pretence.
“Even those who are leaking the information to us are singing the loudest support. Look at them outside,” he said.
Language became heated in the courtroom before the magistrate entered, and continued even after she came in. Wanting to continue where they had left off, EFF and ANC members challenged each other to settle matters outside the court building.
Some ANC members labelled Runeli a “zombie” and he responded by calling them monkeys.
Runeli further boasted about the level of intelligence in the EFF, saying: “We defeat you with ideas and everything. Some of you are singing for promotions and you want to be seen”.
Runeli also criticised the presence of municipal directors in court, saying it contradicted the charges laid against him.
Runeli and other EFF members have also appeared in court on charges relating to the protest in Campbell Street in June.
“They said I interrupted service delivery. Who is in the office now when they are all here? Who is paying for them to be here in court? No! Let me call the ratepayers chairperson.”
SHOW OF SUPPORT: Ndlambe Municipality employees came to the Port Alfred magistrate’s court on Monday to support some fellow employees and ANC members who appeared in connection with alleged assault of EFF members in a protest in June