An African National Congress (ANC) councillor in Alexandra north of Johannesburg says they could have helped save Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba’s public engagement with the residents of Alexandra on Monday evening at the Marlboro Community Centre, if he had acceded to their demands.

Mashaba was forced to abandon the meeting following disruptions by a group of protesters who continued singing and refused to cooperate with city officials.

Mashaba says ANC councillors demanded that he apologise to the gathering in exchange for them calming the protesters down.

ANC councillor in Region E in Alexandra, Adolf Morema, has confirmed this: “But then we said there’s conditions to what you’re asking, if you want us to work with you, go and apologise to the people, you did not respond when they first protested.”

He added: “We said another condition is that retract all your statements through twitter, through the media house.”

In a media briefing afterwards, Mashaba continued to defend his position of not going to Alexandra when the protests first broke out.

He accused the ANC-led provincial and national leadership of playing politics instead of addressing the concerns of the people.

He also accused President Cyril Ramaphosa of not being honest.

“I find it really very strange with the President in particular because I take this personal. For the President of this country to come to Alexandra, after all these failures and promise them a million houses, I think it’s another insult to the people of Alexandra.”

Click audio below to listen to Adolf Morema interview: