Pretoria – Social media pictures showing former Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga canvassing for votes from the City of Tshwane offices in Centurion caused an uproar among councillors in attendance at a monthly sitting at Tshwane House Council Chamber.
Msimanga, who is the DA premier candidate for Gauteng, was there to announce how the DA would implement its job recruitment plan to ensure fair access to job opportunities across the province to everyone, according to a DA media statement.
Councillors from both the EFF and ANC expressed disappointment at Msimanga’s presence at the municipal property, demanding that he leave with immediate effect.
Speaker Katlego Mathebe was forced to adjourn the meeting after councillors asked mayor Stevens Mokgalapa to establish facts regarding Msimanga’s visit to the City offices.
Councillors called for Mokgalapa to issue an instruction that Msimanga must immediately leave the municipal premises.
Social media pictures showed Msimanga surrounded by a number of City workers, who were dressed in municipal workers’ uniform.
EFF councilor Obakeng Ramabodu expressed concerns regarding Msimanga’s campaign at the municipal building.
He said that "that guy who used be the mayor" was at the municipal complex where he demonstrated to workers how his party would fairly employ workers should it walk away with victory after the May 8 general election.
Ramabodu said his party would set up an EFF gazebo outside Tshwane House to emulate the DA’s campaign at the Centurion municipal offices.
Deputy chief whip Crezane Bosch said she had established facts, which showed that Msimanga was at the parking lot.
"The event was in a parking lot, which is still a public space. We were told the event was attended by the media and a few workers," she said.
Bosch said Msimanga and those who accompanied him had since left the premises.
ANC councillor Terrence Mashigo said Mokgalapa must immediately instruct Msimanga to leave the City premises "or else he must be arrested".
ANC chairperson Kgosi Maepa threatened that his party would distribute 20 000 party T-shirts should Msimanga not be barred from campaigning at municipal properties.
"The ANC will come back this afternoon with 20 000 T-shirts and distribute them to city officials," he said.
ANC councillor Aaron Maluleka said: "I know in the past the people were victimised when they attended the ANC events."
He said workers who left their work stations to attend Msimanga’s campaign must face the music.
"We are pleading with you because you are in authority. What he is doing is uncalled for and he is campaigning during working hours," Maluleka said.