Two DA councillors have jumped ship to join the new Nelson Mandela Bay coalition government, HeraldLive has reported.
At a council meeting today, ward councillors Trevor Louw and Neville Higgins were the only DA members to show up, as the party does not recognise the legitimacy of the new government, made up of ANC, UDM and EFF members, that ousted DA mayor Athol Trollip and speaker Jonathan Lawack on August 27.
Trollip has been replaced by a UDM mayor, Mongameli Bobani, who used to be his deputy, and an ANC speaker, Buyela Mafaya.
While the DA, as well as its remaining coalition partners Cope, the ACDP and the Patriotic Alliance avoided the meeting, the attendance of Louw and Higgins meant the council could proceed with business.
Without the two, they would not have the 61 member majority to hold the meeting. The pair took the coalition’s majority to 62 members.
Louw wrote a resignation letter to the DA, which was handed over to city manager Johann Mettler before the start of the meeting.
But Louw claims the letter was not meant for submission, and was “forcefully” grabbed from his bag by DA members and submitted. They allegedly tore his shirt in the process.
Speaker Mafaya refused to accept the letter as it was not submitted by Louw personally.
The council, with the help of their two new members, resolved to institute disciplinary processes against Trollip for allegedly leaking confidential municipal reports to DA leader Mmusi Maimane.
The reports allegedly implicate Bobani in misconduct.
This is not the first time in recent weeks that members of the DA have turned against the party in Nelson Mandela Bay.
The efforts of the opposition coalition to oust Trollip and the DA in the metro only succeeded because of the decision of DA member Victor Manyati to vote with the opposition coalition which has since taken power.
Manyati was branded a “traitor” by his party and is no longer a member.