MMC Belinda Echeo-Zonjoku ‘elbowed down’ by male councillor during disruption

MMC for Development Planning at the City of Johannesburg Belinda Echeo-Zonjoku says she was elbowed down by a male councillor during disruptions at the city's first council meeting for the year.

South African Police Services stationed outside the Gauteng Legislature Building in Johannesburg CBD before the State of the Provincial Address on 26 February 2018.  Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - MMC for Development Planning at the City of Johannesburg Belinda Echeo-Zonjoku says she was elbowed down by a male councillor during disruptions at the city's first council meeting for the year.

Chaos broke out on Thursday ahead of the election of the chairpersons of oversight committees.

The dispute was over the voting process of appointments.

The multiparty coalition, led by the Democratic Alliance (DA) and including parties such as ActionSA, supported an open ballot while the ANC and the Economic Freedom Fighters supported a secret ballot.

Echeo-zonjoku said she sought medical attention following the incident.

“Unfortunately, I was one of the people elbowed down by a male councillor who was preventing me from getting to the Speaker’s chamber. He elbowed me and kept his arm and elbow on my chest. I almost passed out but fortunately my colleague managed to get me out of his grip.”

The ANC in the city has since blamed Speaker Vasco da Gama for the disruption.

The sitting has been postponed to Tuesday.