The sitting, which took place in Bloemfontein, descended into chaos as the Speaker, Mxolisi Siyonzana, called security and gave them the go-ahead to remove the party's members from the sitting. Councillor, Paballo Poone-Rankholo, tells OFM News the disagreement between the EFF and Siyonzana emanated from what the party deemed to be his failure to provide council with reasons as to why he decided not to allow the motion of no-confidence vote, brought by the party against Mayor Olly Mlamleli in August, to be done in a secret ballot. Poone-Rankholo says the Speaker had committed to have a document with his reasons ready for today’s sitting and as a result, the matter would be a part of the agenda. Siyonzana allegedly reneged on this promise, infuriating the party’s councillors. She says they tried to raise the issue in the council before the scuffle occurred.
She says that Siyonzana then tried to have a caucus with the EFF, where he apologised for not keeping to his promise on the matter. She says the sitting then resumed, where he started ignoring their calls to have the matter further addressed. He then called in security to remove the disgruntled EFF members. Councillor, Paulnita Marais says it is at this point that the security guards started manhandling the members. She says they were willing to walk out of the chambers, but the security personnel started terrorising them.
OFM News previously reported that the EFF demanded that the motion is passed in secrecy as they believe there are ANC members who would like to vote against the mayor but would not do so through an open ballot in fear of victimisation. When probed, the members maintain that had August's vote been done in secret, Mlamleli would surely have been ousted. Siyonzana was unavailable for comment.