COUNCIL speaker Maria Hermans yesterday named and shamed Nelson Mandela Bay councillors, including mayor Zanoxolo Wayile, his deputy and chief whip, for not declaring their financial interests before the October 2 deadline.
This irked councillors who felt they were being embarrassed by Hermans even though they had submitted their interests before yesterday's council meeting.
The councillors tried to defend themselves but would not be accommodated by Hermans, who said their reasons for the late submissions were not up for discussion.
A visibly upset ANC mayoral committee member, councillor Chippa Ngcolomba, said: "When we raise our hands and are not acknowledged, it cannot be right.
"You choose to ridicule us in this manner, so must we allow you to tarnish our image when you know that we have declared before this council meeting? You don't give us an opportunity to respond, so what must we then do?" Ngcolomba said.
He was echoed by chief whip Feziwe Sibeko who said there were a number of councillors who had submitted their declarations before September 30.
"The danger is that this will now be sensationalised in the media.
"The proper, humanitarian way of dealing with it should have been done," Sibeko said.
Hermans responded that the councillors who had submitted their declarations after the council agenda was distributed on October 2 were regarded as late submissions. "When I received the list of names, I looked at the documents before me and those names were not submitted before the council agenda was distributed," Hermans said.