“Cope and the United Democratic Movement held a media briefing with us to say they will also boycott the meeting,” Trollip said. “The ANC must to their own thing. They are divided, it it their problem,” he added, referring to reported strife within ruling party ranks in the metro.
The ANC is reported to be concerned that it will not have a quorum for the special sitting called to vote in Jordaan, the president of the South African Football Association, to head the troubled metro with a view to reviving the party’s fortunes in the region ahead of the 2016 local government polls.
“They have a very tenous majority, they need 61 votes to get Jordaan elected and they hold 63 seats on the council,” Trollip continued.
He said opposition parties had elected to boycott the meeting in part because the ANC had decided to hold it not in the council chambers but in Nangozo Jebe hall in New Brighton.
“It is a bid to intimidate their own councillors and we feel there is a risk of public violence.”
Jordaan is the only candidate because the opposition declined to field their own, judging that it would be a pointless exercise given the ANC’s majority.
ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa was in Port Elizabeth on Thursday in preparation for the event but could not be reached for comment.
Trollip will be the DA’s mayoral candidate in the metro in next year’s elections.
In the last local elections in 2011, the ANC’s vote share dropped from 66.5 percent to 51.9 percent in the metro. This translated directly into a 15 percent increase in votes for the DA, which has made it an election mission to clinch the metro in 2016.