Chair-throwing chaos at DA mayor's roadshow

29 November 2017 - 14:14 By Petru Saal
UDM president Bantu Holomisa.
UDM president Bantu Holomisa.
Image: Gallo Images / Foto24 / Mary-Ann Palmer

United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa has suggested that chairs be replaced by cushions because of the injuries caused by “chair throwing” at political events.

Levels of intolerance were increasing in the country‚ he warned in a somewhat cheeky post on Twitter on Wednesday. 

He was reacting to a video showing chairs being hurled around violently at an expanded public works programme rally held by Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga at the Mabopane Indoor Sports Centre on Sunday.

The public works programme is aimed at creating labour-intensive work opportunities for residents to reduce unemployment.

But the roadshow descended into a brawl that was broken up by metro police. At least one shot can be seen being fired in the mayhem.

“So the ANC’s festival of chairs concept is spreading to other parties. Levels of intolerance r on the rise in our body politik (sic)‚” tweeted Holomisa.

Followers suggested cushions be used for seating arrangements and Holomisa agreed.

“I think all political parties must adopt this arrangement in order to avoid further casualties & destruction on property‚” he tweeted. Mayoral spokesperson Samkelo Mgobozi confirmed the incident. “It happened during the afternoon‚ while the mayor was doing his (public works) roadshow. The mayor was there and law enforcement. There are people in the communities who want the (public works) opportunities. It was a small group of people who call themselves the Tshwane Business Forum that started throwing the chairs‚” he said.

Metro police spokesman Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba confirmed that officers on the scene had to intervene.

The video‚ tweeted by Holomisa‚ was shared on Facebook by DK Tsela whose comment said: “Look at how I was pushed and shot at the back for nothing.”

In September‚ the ANC Eastern Cape elective conference was brought to a halt when fists and chairs flew. Scores of delegates were injured.