According to a report in City Press, Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip’s troubles may be far from over after he temporarily survived a motion of no confidence vote brought against him by the EFF on Thursday.
Chaos in council prevented the vote from taking place after it was obvious it would not succeed after the Patriotic Alliance (PA) and African Independent Congress threw their weight behind Trollip.
The EFF needed all opposition parties to vote against Trollip and the DA speaker in council.
They attempted to have the vote take place by secret ballot, which some in the DA told City Press would allow them to vote against Trollip.
They are reportedly upset about a deal Trollip struck to have PA councillor Marlon Daniels take over the roads and transport portfolio and become the deputy mayor.
The MMC for roads and transport Rano Kayser confirmed to the paper that he is willing to give way in order to preserve DA rule in the city. He recently successfully launched the metro’s long-awaited new public transport system. His imminent axing to provide space for Daniels has angered others in council, who accuse Trollip of having deliberately targeted a “coloured councillor”.
They claim that if the speaker allowed a secret ballot, they would vote against Trollip as they could then not be victimised.
However, that would mean their governance of the metro would come to an end; they would presumably then join one of the other parties and hope to stay in office through by-elections.
Last week, Daniels told The Citizen he had turned down the chance to be the city’s mayor from the DA’s opposition in the city.
The so-called black caucus, he said, had apparently been trying frantically to sway the PA to change its mind on the vote after news broke on Tuesday night in a letter from PA president Gayton McKenzie that they would not support a motion brought by the EFF against the DA in the city on the basis that, to them, it smacked of racism.
Daniels told The Citizen he found himself in a meeting in the small hours of this morning with representatives from the black caucus comprising councillors from the EFF, AIC and United Front Eastern Cape. The EFF later denied that it had offered a deal to a party of “gangsters”.
Trollip has expressed a willingness to work with Gayton McKenzie’s PA, saying that he’s always had a respectful relationship with the party even when their first attempt at a coalition deal fell apart. Daniels was briefly the MMC of health.
Speaking at a rally, Trollip said on Thursday that he knew the character of their “newest coalition partner” because he’d been in government with the PA before.
“And when we were cooperating with Marlon Daniels and Gayton McKenzie, Daniels was doing well in the department of public health … he remembered that he could work with us to make this city work better.”
He claimed the PA had left that coalition because Trollip had not been able to give them the deputy mayoral position at that time because the removed former incumbent, Mongameli Bobani, had launched a court action against his ousting. He said they then did away with the position and the PA left the coalition.
The important thing for Trollip, though, was that McKenzie and the PA had remained respectful.
“They never made racist utterances against the DA in public; Gayton McKenzie didn’t throw his toys out of the cot like a spoiled child. He phoned me and he said, ‘Athol, I’m afraid we can no longer cooperate.’”
“I said, ‘Fine, Gayton, if that’s the way it is, so be it.”