Chaos erupts at Cape Town council meeting, as EFF calls for removal of City's JP Smith over taxi strike

The Cape Town council meeting was temporarily suspended on Thursday morning, after EFF councilors, who disrupted a speech by the Cape Town Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis, were removed.

The members wanted answers about the taxi strike that recently took place in the Western Cape, but that is only scheduled for later in the meeting. They called on mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, to be removed from office because of his handling of the recent strike of the minibus taxi industry.

When the meeting was adjourned, some of the councilors walked to the podium, where Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis was due to speak and held posters arguing that Smith had "blood on his hands" and was "killing the black economy".

SCREENSHOT: City of Cape Town - YouTube 

EFF members also chanted ‘’JP [Smith] must fall’’

Hill-Lewis only spoke for a few minutes when speaker Felicity Purchase asked for an adjournment and for Council security to remove the council members in question.

‘’In terms of the [City of Cape Town council] rule, you may not disrupt the meeting, you may not hold posters. Please take a seat. I am naming you now, the whole [entire] party for the first time, second time, and for the third time. Can you please leave the meeting. The EFF will get no speaking time in the meeting. Mr. mayor we will adjounrn the meeting whilst these councilors are being removed from the chamber,’’ said Felicity Purchase, Cape Town council speaker.

The session had not resumed [online] by 13:00.

 The GOOD party meanwhile, has condemned the EFF for disrupting Thursday’s proceedings.

‘’GOOD agrees that Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith needs to be held accountable for his role in the violent Taxi Strike that saw five lives lost. However, sending the chamber into chaos will not bring about accountability,’’ said Suzette Little, GOOD’s City of Cape Town Councillor & Caucus Chairperson.

‘’It was clear that taxi operators felt victimised by the leadership of the city and JP Smith. They believed their operations were being unfairly targeted by vindictive policing operations. Child-like comments made by Smith only fuelled an already tense situation. He was quoted as saying “we will proceed with impounding 25 vehicles for every truck, bus, vehicle or facility that is burnt or vandalised”.

‘’As GOOD, we requested this debate so that the City executives could be held accountable for their role in the strike.  An hour was already a stretch to get all the issues ventilated and the actions of the EFF will only further damage our pursuit of the truth,’’ concluded Suzette Little, GOOD’s City of Cape Town Councillor & Caucus Chairperson.


Done By: Mitchum George


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