Chaos erupts at Nelson Mandela Bay council sitting over new DA councillor

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PORT ELIZABETH, September 25 – Chaos erupted at a Nelson Mandela Bay council meeting on Tuesday after Democratic Alliance (DA) councillors refused for their new recruit to be ejected from the council.

The drama unfolded shortly after City Manager Johan Mettler cited the recent Port Elizabeth High Court judgment on Victor Manyati’s DA membership.

Mettler said the judgment was clear in that it stated that Manyati would remain on as a councillor until the DA’s disciplinary processes against him were finalised.

Last month, Manyati abstained from a vote which led to the ousting of former council speaker Jonathan Lawack of the DA. Subsequent to Lawack’s ousting, NMB Mayor Athol Trollip was voted from office and Mongameli Bobani of the United Democratic Movement (UDM) was elected unanimously as the new Executive Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay.

During heated scenes on Tuesday, Werner Senekal of the DA said that the processes against Manyati were finalised and according to the party he was no longer a councillor.

“It boggles my mind as to what he is doing here,” said Senekal about Manyati.

Council Speaker Buyelwa Mafaya then indicated that new DA recruit Lutho Sokudela needed to leave chambers.

A shouting match ensued with DA councillors forming a chain around Sokudela. They were adamant that their new councillor would not leave chambers.

Mafaya then ordered municipal security to remove Sokudela.

Metro police officers and security entered chambers and a scuffled ensued.

The DA and its coalition partners, COPE and the ACDP, had gone to the high court last week in a bid to have the court review or declare unlawful the decisions taken at last month’s council meeting at which Trollip was ousted, but they lost the application.

– African News Agency (ANA)