South Africa 11.4.2018 01:41 pm

Gayton McKenzie warns ANC he will withdraw from Ekurhuleni coalition

Gayton McKenzie (centre) with Marlon Daniels (left) and Leanne Williams (right) on April 11. Picture: @RaahilSain/Twitter

Gayton McKenzie (centre) with Marlon Daniels (left) and Leanne Williams (right) on April 11. Picture: @RaahilSain/Twitter

The PA leader claims the ruling party is on thin ice if it doesn’t support his man becoming PE’s deputy mayor.

Patriotic Alliance (PA) president Gayton McKenzie at a press conference on Wednesday to introduce PA councillor Marlon Daniels as the new MMC for roads and transport in the city had a warning for his coalition partner the ANC.

He said that if they do not support Daniels to become the deputy mayor it will take him “five minutes” to withdraw his solitary seat from the Ekurhuleni coalition in Gauteng.

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The ANC is governing the Ekurhuleni metro with the support of the PA and the African Independent Congress (AIC), which has four seats. Together they have 114 seats, and the withdrawal of the PA would not be enough to push the ANC to below the 112 needed for control.

However, the continued involvement of the AIC is not guaranteed, as it also threw its weight behind Trollip last month in Nelson Mandela Bay. If both parties pull out, the ANC will need to find another three seats from another party to maintain control of the important industrial metro.

The agreement for Daniels to become deputy mayor in Nelson Mandela Bay was struck ahead of the EFF’s motion of no confidence in Trollip last month, when Trollip desperately needed the PA’s support to defeat the motion, since the support of the DA (57 seats), Cope (1) and ACDP (1) would not have been enough against the 61 seats of the other parties combined.

Since then the AIC switched sides, giving Trollip more comfort. The AIC also has one seat in Nelson Mandela Bay.

A further attempt to oust Trollip this week also ended in chaos after the council’s speaker was not inclined to allow the vote to take place by secret ballot.

McKenzie said he knew it would become chaotic because the EFF had not “done their sums properly”, even though “some of them have doctorates” in a sarcastic reference to EFF leaders such as Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi. EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu is also a doctoral candidate.

Daniels was previously in coalition with the DA and given the position of MMC of health, but that fell through when he wasn’t made the deputy mayor after having supported a motion to oust former deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani of the UDM.

The deputy mayorship has since been abolished in the city and Daniels will only be able to take up the position if council business can get back to normal and the position can be reinstated.

This time around, the coalition will continue whether he gets the job or not.

However, according to a report in City Press on April 1, some in the DA have said they will vote against Trollip if the vote is secret.

They were reportedly upset about the deal Trollip struck to have Daniels take over the roads and transport portfolio.

The former MMC for roads and transport Rano Kayser confirmed he was willing to give way to preserve DA rule in the city, but his axing to provide space for Daniels angered others in council, who accused Trollip of having deliberately targeted a “coloured councillor”.

Daniels has previously told The Citizen he 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. He claims he found himself in a meeting in the small hours of the morning last month with representatives from the black caucus comprising councillors from the EFF, AIC and United Front Eastern Cape. The EFF later denied it had offered a deal to a party of “gangsters”.

Trollip had earlier expressed a clear willingness to work with the PA, saying that he had always had a respectful relationship with the party even when their first attempt at a coalition deal fell apart.

 

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