GEORGE POLITICAL NEWS - The dust has hardly settled after the election of a new mayor for George when the opposition started crying murder.
The ANC and the EFF have laid a charge of attempted murder against Speaker Gerrit Pretorius and a DA councillor at the Conville police station on Sunday 24 May for putting the lives of councillors and municipal officials at risk.
This follows after a special council meeting held last Friday for the election of the new George mayor. The DA councillor in question, whose son is believed to have tested positive for Covid-19, was allowed to cast a vote at the Conville Civic Centre.
The complainants' argument is that the councillor could possibly have attained or contracted the virus from her son, endangering everyone at the premises where she voted.
Southern Cape police spokesperson Captain Malcolm Pojie said the investigation is in an early stage and will be submitted to the senior public prosecutor for a decision as soon as it has been concluded. "No arrests have been made," said Pojie.
ANC Chief Whip Nomawethu Jantjies-Gushman said they know "for a fact" that one councillor was in contact with her son, who tested positive for Covid-19 last Tuesday, 19 May. "So she should not be part of the meeting, because she's supposed to be in quarantine for 14 days," said Jantjies-Gushman.
She said the case was opened on behalf of the opposition collective, with the exception of the ACDP and the FF Plus.
Speaker Gerrit Pretorius said adequate care has been taken during the proceedings. "The councillor under discussion posed no risk to any other person after following the required screening and testing process as per the guidelines for contact tracing of the Department of Health," he said.
"Nevertheless, additional arrangements were put in place to allow the councillor to exercise her democratic right to vote and to safeguard those due to vote at the same station. The councillor entered the voting hall only after all the other councillors had cast their votes and the voting booth was specially moved to a corner of the voting station, situated well away from the other persons present inside the venue.
"The councillor left immediately after casting a vote to return home and resume the e-Council meeting via MS [Microsoft] Teams."
Pretorius said the security company appointed for access control at the venue recorded temperatures, issued disposable gloves and masks, and ensured that all safety and hygiene precautions for councillors and officials who entered the premises were strictly observed.
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