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JHB, Tshwane mayors agree to set aside party politics & work together

Solly Msimanga & Herman Mashaba say they will heed a call by the premier to not let politics come in the way of working together.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura. Picture: @GautengProvince/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – Johannesburg and Tshwane mayors Solly Msimanga and Herman Mashaba say they will heed the call by Gauteng Premier David Makhura to not let party politics come in the way of working together with provincial government.

Makhura delivered his 2017 State of the Province Address (Sopa) in Randfontein on Monday, but it was disrupted by Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) supporters who tried to force their way into the venue.

Police fired stun grenades and fired rubber bullets to disperse them.

Makhura said he is committed to working with all the mayors, irrespective of the party they represent.

“Politics must never be about power and ceremony and the attempted rush to appear in the news.”

Mashaba echoed Makhura’s sentiments

“As public servants, our responsibility is to our residents and us as the City of Johannesburg, we’re committed.”

At the same time, Msimanga said he agrees with Makhura’s view to work together.

“I’m saying we can debate but we can do so in a matured manner. We can do so while having the best interests of our people at heart.”

The EFF said it will give it’s in depth view of the premier’s address during the debate.

EFF MEMBERS HURT DURING PROTESTS

The EFF in Gauteng has said it's concerned after some of its members were hurt when police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades at protesters during Makhura’s Sopa.

EFF Members of the Provincial Legislature (MPLs) tried to raise an urgent motion preventing Makhura from speaking, while supporters protested outside.

The party’s supporters were demanding the premier’s resignation while carrying white crosses in memory of the more than 100 psychiatric patients who lost their lives in the Esidimeni tragedy.

The crowd threw stones at a police nyala and turned cars away from the premises.

EFF MPL Masilela Ledwaba said, “We are subjected to this ill-treatment all the time. We have invited our guests here, we have invited fighters to come witness this event and that’s the treatment that we get. It’s unfortunate, but we will take it up.”

The protesting supporters also knocked down a part of a boundary wall as they tried to force their way into the venue.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)