DA leader in the Eastern Cape Nqaba Bhanga released a statement on Thursday expressing the party’s happiness after the proposed motion of no confidence in mayor Athol Trollip was postponed following the ANC-led walkout of the opposition in the metro, which also currently includes the UDM and EFF.
“I am happy to see the back of the ANC, EFF and the UDM as they are running away. They ran away because they are scared and don’t have the best interest of the people at heart,” says Bhanga.
At the council meeting on Wednesday morning that saw the ANC, UDM and EFF fail to remove Trollip, Bhanga accused the parties of being “cowards”, who he said came to the meeting with the specific intent to find fault with it so they could walk out.
“The opposition parties have no interest in the metro of this city,” he added.
The motion will now be postponed as the opposition in the metro, comprising the ANC, EFF, UDM and potentially, but not currently the PA, continues to attempt to remove the mayor.
However, Bhanga says he and his party are not worried about future motions of no confidence.
“Although the motions on the agenda is set to be debated at the next council sitting, we are not perturbed. These motions will continue to fail as they don’t have the best interest of the people of Nelson Mandela Bay at heart,” said the statement.
Bhanga also accused the ANC of only being “interested in returning to power to steal the city”.
He claims the metro is “in its best financial position in years” and that the ANC is only interested in “undoing the progress achieved by the DA-led coalition government”.
When the walkout occurred, allegedly because the agenda for the meeting was delivered late, Trollip accused those who left of only doing so to try and save face.
“This is yet another case of the opposition having lost face. It is a sad day that opposition parties have [continued to stall] business of this council since March,” said Trollip.
On Wednesday, The Citizen reported Trollip would survive the motion, as the kingmaker party, Patriotic Alliance (PA), decided not to vote against Trollip, who will thus remain mayor.
On Thursday morning, however, some believed the ANC had a ‘plan B’ that could see the motion succeed after prominent member Andile Lungise tweeted the DA “will be removed today”. In the end, Trollip survived as those close to the situation believed he would.
ANC, EFF, UDM, AIC, UF all solid to provide better services to communities of Nelson Mandela Metro. DA will be removed today igwala kuloyise!
— Andile Lungisa (@mrlungisa) August 16, 2018
READ MORE: Trollip ‘will survive’ yet again on Thursday
News that Trollip would survive came after a meeting between the highly fractured 61-member opposition in Nelson Mandela Bay that ended just before 10pm on Wednesday night after being called in a last-ditch effort to iron out their differences ahead of Thursday’s planned no-confidence vote.
Earlier, the ANC, African Independent Congress (AIC), United Front (UF) and United Democratic Movement (UDM) tried to make peace between the PA and EFF after the EFF called the PA a party of “thugs” and “unrepentant fraudsters” last week.
Some of the parties, particularly the United Front, were unhappy that the EFF unilaterally declared they would not be supporting the outcome of a vote they lost at their own offices in Braamfontein. In that vote, all parties except the EFF had supported PA councillor Marlon Daniels to be the next mayor, while the EFF supported the UDM’s Mongameli Bobani on Tuesday last week.
The PA last Wednesday said they were prepared to withdraw their candidate as mayor, but confusion about what the way forward would be in a possible post-Trollip government once again placed the outcome on a knife-edge.
PA leader Gayton McKenzie said after the meeting: “The AIC, PA, UF and ANC couldn’t agree with the EFF and UDM about the senior positions in the metro. The PA shall therefore not support the motion, thereby making it a failure tomorrow.”