Malema rubbishes ‘arrogant’ Trollip’s claim that he’s still mayor

Floyd Shivambu, Julius Malema and Godrich Gardee. Picture: Twitter/EFF

Floyd Shivambu, Julius Malema and Godrich Gardee. Picture: Twitter/EFF

The EFF leader said on Tuesday that the mayor of Tshwane is next, while Herman Mashaba has won the EFF’s favour.

Speaking at a press conference at EFF headquarters on Tuesday afternoon, EFF leader Julius Malema made it clear that in his party’s view the DA’s legal challenge of yesterday’s motion of no confidence in Athol Trollip has little chance of success.

The DA said in an earlier press conference that the vote that removed Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Trollip was “not legal” because the municipal manager, Johann Mettler, was actually available to chair the meeting after the removal of the former speaker, Jonathan Lawack.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said: “This was a mock council meeting that elected a mock government, and we are of the view that yesterday’s proceedings are invalid in law”.

He claimed the “sitting was procedurally invalid and lacked legitimate authority to legally elect a new speaker, and then subsequently pass the motion of no confidence in the executive mayor”.

He said the MEC for cooperative governance and traditional affairs, Fikile Xasa, had erroneously invoked section 36 of the Municipal Structures Act .

However, Malema said that the DA had merely been scrambling to save Trollip after the meeting voted Lawack out. Mettler had allegedly not acted impartially and took advice from the DA’s lawyers that he should adjourn the meeting. Malema claimed Mettler had also acted improperly to initially declare DA councillor Victor Manyathi’s seat vacant due to the DA serving him a notice of having his membership revoked, as only the Independent Electoral Commission of SA can declare a vacancy and announce a by-election.

Malema said Mettler then realised his error and tried to correct it, but only demonstrated his political bias in the process.

“A council meeting only quorates once, at the start of a meeting. How can the same meeting that removed a speaker not remove a mayor?”

Malema dropped the bombshell that, in addition to Manyathi, the EFF had actually turned as many as 10 unhappy black DA councillors in their favour and the DA would never manage to win another no-confidence motion in the metro in future, as each of these DA councillors would each be willing to betray the DA one at a time.

He also slammed the DA for having been willing to work with a councillor from the Patriotic Alliance, which he maintained was a party of “gangsters”, allegedly using their MMC position in the transport portfolio to allow “drugs to move freely through the city”.

Malema expressed his ongoing support for Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba, however, because Mashaba had shown humility and been willing to consult with the EFF and others on issues such as increasing property rates and insourcing workers, unlike was the case in Nelson Mandela Bay and Tshwane.

Ironically, the same Malema in 2016 demanded that the DA put forward any candidate other than Mashaba, because he alleged at the time that Mashaba was “anti-black”.

Malema told the press conference his party would support any other “credible candidate” put forward in Tshwane, as mayor Solly Msimanga and his councillors were showing the “same arrogance [as in Nelson Mandela Bay] in the Tshwane metro, where the white caucus of the DA conducts itself as if they too possess an absolute majority, when in fact they possess absolute arrogance”.

He confirmed that the Trollip no-confidence motion was partly a punishment for the DA having opposed the EFF’s motion in parliament to change the constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation.

However, he said the DA was also wrong to govern in coalition metros as though they had won an outright majority. Malema also challenged his critics such as Black First Land First leader Andile Mngxitama, who had alleged that he and the EFF were bought by “London” to vote with the DA against the ANC in 2016.

“Whoever wants to govern needs the humility to work and cooperate with other political parties, something Trollip does not do. In fact, even before becoming a mayor, Trollip was already preaching arrogance of how much he does not need the EFF.”

Malema, however, did not spare the ANC criticism either. He was particularly damning of the fact that ANC councillor Andile Lungisa had accepted an MMC post in the post-Trollip government led by the UDM’s Mongameli Bobani, despite having been convicted of assault and awaiting the outcome of his appeal.

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