CAPE TOWN - Five suspects arrested by Cambridge police in the Eastern Cape after an ANC councillor was manhandled and dragged from her office by security, have been released on R500 bail each.
A video of the incident involving councillor Nanziwe Rulashe from the Amathole District Municipality (ADM) has gone viral on social media.
Eastern Cape police spokesperson, Thembinkosi Kinana said: “Cambridge police are investigating a case of common assault, malicious damage to property and intimidation after an incident that allegedly took place at the Municipality offices in East London (Monday). The circumstances surrounding the incident are not clear at this stage, investigation continues.
“Five suspects aged between 23 and 43 years were arrested and later released on R500 bail each.”
The municipality distanced itself from the incident and said it would investigate the matter.
“It is very sad to view and read about the alleged incident that took place in ADM Head Offices yesterday. ADM Council including the executive management distances itself from these disturbing scenes circulating on social media platforms with the contempt it deserves. This matter will be fully investigated and as the Executive Mayor, I will act accordingly,” Mayor Nceba Ndikinda said.
The ANC condemned the incident.
“The ANC in Amathole came across a video clip showing (the) Amathole District Municipality Mayoral Committee Member, getting manhandled and dragged out of the building by people who identify themselves in the video clip as security.
“Irrespective of the circumstances, the ANC condemns such an incident with the harshest possible terms. As such, we have immediately directed the Executive Mayor to conduct an urgent investigation and submit a comprehensive report to the ANC,” the party said in a statement..
“We view this as a very serious and sensitive matter and as such any attempt to use it as a political football is unfortunate. The ANC will on the basis of the report take appropriate action and ensure that no such incident occurs in the future. The people of Amathole deserve better.”
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Xolile Nqatha added that they were “utterly disgusted” by the incident and had written to the municipality requesting a report indicating steps it would be taking to ensure all those involved are held accountable.
The chairperson of the select committee on co-operative governance in the National Council of Provinces, China Dodovu, said the conduct of security officials in the ADM unacceptable.
“The incident in question is barbaric and uncalled for on many grounds, but the most nauseating is the manhandling of a female public representative by male security officers. This is concerning in the context of ever-increasing gender-based violence in the country, which requires a concerted effort to overcome,” said Dodovu.
*Additional reporting Siyabonga Mkhwanazi