Nelson Mandela Bay kingmaker in the battle to oust Athol Trollip as the mayor, Marlon Daniels, drew the ire of ANC councillors when he told them, as well as EFF councillors, that they should stop hanging on to the past.
During a second attempt to debate and possibly vote on the motion to remove DA national chairperson Trollip as the mayor, ANC and EFF councillors were visibly furious with Daniels and showed evident signs of intolerance.
Daniels’ lone vote as a representative of the Patriotic Alliance (PA) as well as the backing of other minority parties in the city such as African Independent Congress (AIC), will likely determine the mayorship as the minority parties in the council are effectively in control after the EFF’s retaliatory move to “punish” the DA by removing it from power.
During a heated national parliamentary debate on expropriation of land without compensation earlier this year, the DA vocally objected to the motion, which was eventually passed with an outright majority.
“We do believe in the expropriation of land. We took a resolution and believe in it without compensation. We need to find out who is going to be the owner of the land,” Daniels said as interjections rained on him.
“On the the late comrade Solomon Mahlangu, he went to the gallows because of the apartheid system, he was a great fighter. When we reflect on the hanging of Mahlangu, there is no way that anyone can condone those actions. In the same way when they speak of the slashing of the throat of a white man, there is no difference. It is unacceptable.
“The past is left where it belongs. We use the past to reflect on the future. We can use the past to learn, but that is all. Let us not go back to the issue of black-on-white violence or white-on-black violence,” he said.
Daniels then spoke about Winnie Mandela, saying she had been undermined by her own party.
“Let me reflect briefly on Winnie Mandela. I want to say the following in short: she has not received the respect in this country she deserves. She is the person responsible for reminding people of the icon Nelson Mandela was because she remained resilient, iconic – we salute Winnie as the Patriotic Alliance,” Daniels concluded.
DA councillor Nqaba Bhanga’s entire tribute was drowned out by a funeral hymn sung by ANC and EFF members, rendering almost everything he said inaudible. At the close of his speech, DA councillors gave him a standing ovation.
“How can we allow Nqaba Banga who murdered two girls to speak? Nqaba can not be allowed to get away with this,” an ANC councillor said.
According to Herald Live, an internal investigation by the municipality was instituted following the deaths of two people involved in a crash with a municipal vehicle in October 2017.
A security officer assigned to DA Eastern Cape leader Nqaba Bhanga was involved in the fatal accident, while protection officer Kgothatso Moshele was critically injured, a 17-year-old man died on the scene, and a 45-year-old woman died later in hospital.
The opposition parties also objected to the DA’s commeration of “Solomon Mahlangu when he was sentenced to death by Peter Leon, a former apartheid judge who is Tony Leon’s father”.
The meeting descended into chaos with the speaker threatening to suspend the sitting.