The Democratic Alliance (DA) held a press briefing after the collapse of the Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) special council meeting today scheduled to remove Athol Trollip as mayor.
Trollip said the objective of the opposition parties was to bring the City to its knees until it was under administration and that the ANC was trying to take the metro back from the DA “through the backdoor”.
He added that more sober-minded coalition parties would come on board to work for the City and its people.
Trollip said opposition parties could not accept losing NMB to the DA and its coalition partners.
He said believes UDM councillor Mongameli Bobani – the City’s former deputy mayor – had been part of a plot to collapse the meeting as well as ANC councillor Andile Lungisa, whom Trollip said he had overheard instructing ANC councillors to ensure the meeting did not continue.
At the press briefing, Trollip said DA had wanted to and was ready to debate the motion and that the speaker had placed it on record that should the meeting collapse, the councillors who sought to table the motion would have to petition for its reintroduction by obtaining 61 councillors’ signatures in support of the motion.
“We have conducted ourselves without any blemish in that council and the people who acted disgracefully I hope will be exposed by the media for what they did,” Trollip said.
He said the DA and its coalition partners were ready to debate the motion, and were ready to do so during the previous meeting, which was also adjourned after it descended into chaos.
“We will not be held to ransom by people who cannot respect democratic outcomes. The democratic outcomes are that we have a coalition government in the city and the coalition government has got work to do, we are going back to work,” Trollip said.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) had tabled a second motion of no confidence in Athol Trollip after the previous meeting also collapsed.
Also on the agenda for today’s meeting were motions to oust speaker Jonathan Lawack and chief whip of council Werner Senekal and to dismantle the entire mayoral committee team.
The EFF needed the support of every other opposition party, including the ANC, to make up the 61-vote majority in the council of 120 seats.
The DA, with its remaining coalition partners the Congress of the People (Cope) and the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), together have 59 seats, while the ANC has 50, the EFF six, the UDM two and the PA, African Independent Congress (AIC) and United Front (UF) one each.
Daniels previously said he would now support Trollip in the latest motion while the lone AIC councillor was reportedly instructed to vote with the DA against the motion.
Daniels has signed the coalition co-governance agreement for the second time following the finalisation of a deal between the DA and PA last month. It was due to see him gain the positions of deputy mayor and that of political head for roads and transport.
After the UDM’s Mongameli Bobani was sacked, the deputy mayor position was done away with at council, but that decision was set to be rescinded to enable Daniels to be accommodated.
After the meeting had been permanently adjourned, councillors of opposition parties vowed to ensure that matters on the agenda, which include removing Trollip, would be dealt with and that no council meeting would convene until those matters have been handled.
– Additional reporting ANA