Trollip to stay on as mayor after Patriotic Alliance flips the script

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Ayanda Mdluli

JOHANNESBURG- Embattled mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay, Athol Trollip will breathe a sigh of relief after a last-minute chess move by the Patriotic Alliance last night that may very well see him stay in his position well after the Easter holidays.

Businessman and head of the Patriotic Alliance, Gayton McKenzie told EFF leader Julius Malema where to get off in an open letter to the ANC on Tuesday evening.

In the letter, McKenzie said his party would not be fooled by those who were comfortable handing power to the same white Trollip and who are now screaming that he’s too white for their liking and should go.

(Read the full letter here)

Last week, a series of motions were submitted to remove the entire mayoral committee of NMB. A move that would have brought the Democratic Alliance-led coalition in the city to its knees. The DA-led coalition was established in 2016 after it ousted the ANC government in the region.

In a General Council Meeting scheduled to take place this Thursday at 10 am, the ANC government could reclaim the much-coveted metro through a coalition with opposition parties after the DA and EFF led coalition failed to reach a compromise on the latter’s position on Land Expropriation without compensation.

However, in a bold move last night, McKenzie drew a line in the sand and declared himself the kingmaker of the region, citing that Malema could not be put in a position where he is dictating to the ANC that the EFF is in charge of the country. Out of a total of 120 seats, the EFF and the ANC need to secure at least 61 in order to successfully remove Trollip. This move is now increasingly unlikely as the Patriotic Alliance holds enough votes to sway the motion in the other direction.

“Trollip will be going nowhere on Thursday,” said McKenzie

“We cannot support a motion of no confidence against a man when the only apparent basis for that motion is that the man in question happens to be white. Let’s be clear: anyone voting against Trollip on Thursday will be engaging in an act of racism, and the PA will not partake in it even if the EFF will try to dress it up as a punishment over differences about land expropriation,” he said.

In this instance, McKenzie said the Patriotic Alliance would follow the principles of nonracialism as opposed to Malema’s call to remove Trollip based on his race.

“We choose a shared future with whites; we choose to build on who we have become after apartheid instead of engaging in reverse racism. Malema and his mad ego might have allowed him to believe he is now leading the ANC but he doesn’t lead the PA and he certainly will not be leading Port Elizabeth come Good Friday if the Patriotic Alliance has anything to do with it,” he said.

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