Judgment reserved in Trollip’s mayoral battle

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The High Court in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape has reserved judgment in the case brought by the Democratic Alliance (DA), to overturn the ousting of former Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor, Athol Trollip, in a rowdy council meeting last month.

The DA argues that the meeting did not form a quorum. The party also says it was unlawful for the Co-operative Governance MEC Fikile Xasa to send an official from his office to preside over the meeting for the election of the speaker to replace former Speaker Jonathan Lawack, who was ousted.

In the same meeting, Trollip and Chief Whip Werner Senekal were ousted in absentia after DA councillors walked out of the meeting.  Trollip believes they have a strong case.

“I think our contention the meeting to replace speaker, to replace myself, to replace and other office bearers was unlawful. It was confirmed today the City Manager declared that there was a vacancy and as soon there was a vacancy we left the chamber. Because we knew the opposition would not have a quorum. Subsequently the City Manager confirmed that and said there was no quorum,” says Trollip.

Meanwhile, ANC Nelson Mandela Bay regional secretary Themba Xathula says the DA has a weak case.

“Obviously we are very happy about the proceedings and we are very confident the judge will favour us. But in the main we interpret this as a political case and it doesn’t belong here.”