The future of Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor, the Democratic Alliance (DA) Athol Trollip and Speaker Jonathan Lawack rests in the hands of the EFF as opposition parties table a motion of no confidence in the two.
The Patriotic Alliance has tabled while the United Democratic Movement (UDM) has seconded the motion which will be debated in a highly-anticipated council meeting on Thursday.
The coalition government which is made up of the DA, COPE and the ACDP have 59 seats in council while opposition parties made up of the ANC, UDM, PA, AIC, UF and EFF have 61 seats in total.
The ANC, UDM, PA, AIC and UF will together make 55 seats but for the motion to be successful they need the six seats that the EFF holds. But if the EFF abstains the motion will fail.
The flouting of Municipal legislation in terms of appointing the City Manager, disrespect of the Council by giving powers to the DA to deal with council matters are some of the reasons the Patriotic Alliance’s Marlon Daniels has put forward for the removal of Mayor Athol Trollip.
Meanwhile, the UDM’s Mongameli Bobani has cited the biasness of the speaker, Jonathan Lawack, in favour of the DA as the reason for the motion of no confidence in him.
However, the success of this motion depends on the how the EFF votes. The party has kept its cards closed to its chest. If it abstains the status quo will remain.
Daniels says, “It is quite evident then that the future of Trollip is subjected to the position the EFF is going to take then. It would be sad and suicidal for the EFF looking at their manifesto if they could support and save Athol Trollip.”
The coalition government which held a media briefing in the absence of all the Members of the Mayoral Committee with Trollip and Lawack is confident that the two will remain in their positions.
Eastern Cape DA leader and Human Settlements Political Head in the Metro, Nqaba Bhanga, says they are holding talks with other parties on national level to evade this motion.
He has declined to say which parties they are in talks with.
“There is no vote of no confidence out of this will succeed. We will finish that meeting with Mayor Athol Trollip as the Executive Mayor and speaker Johnny Lawack as Speaker. Because there is reasonable people in that council meeting who understand that we cannot take this back where it was.”
ANC which is the official opposition party in the Metro with 50 seats says it will support the motion Thursday which takes the opposition parties to 55 seats when adding the two seats of UDM and a seat of PA, AIC and United Front respectively.
ANC Nelson Mandela Bay Acting Regional Chairperson Phumzile Tshuni says, “Our position is very much clear is to say we will support the motion that says Trollip must vacate that office. It is not only about Trollip but DA. Because this is DA led government and African National Congress is the main opposition and therefore we will support that motion it is very much clear.”
The Patriotic Alliance has also filed a motion for the Deputy Mayor position to be filled following the ousting of Bobani in a motion of no confidence.
In a turn of events the DA has filed a motion for the position to be scrapped.