PORT ELIZABETH, August 16 – A motion of no confidence against Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Athol Trollip did not see the light of day once again.
This was the fourth attempt to oust Trollip from office but the motion did not proceed at a council meeting on Thursday after opposition parties including the ANC, EFF, AIC and UDM walked out of chambers and did not return.
Opposition councillors were unhappy because, according to them, Speaker Jonathan Lawack flouted council rules, citing they had received the agenda at a late stage which was “illegal”.
But Lawack said it was a “technicality” and adjourned the meeting because there was no quorum.
“Our printers went down and we had to outsource to a private printing company. During the tenure of the ANC, it more than happened that agendas were delivered very late. Today [Thursday] it is an excuse to walk out.”
The motions which were to be dealt with on Thursday dated back to an agenda tabled earlier in March.
With the PA’s support, who were prepared to leave the coalition and vote Trollip out, the opposition had the majority number of seats at the council.
However, the PA’s Marlon Daniels withdrew from the deal at a last-minute meeting on Wednesday night.
Daniels said that the PA decided to walk away from the opposition because he would not be subjected to the EFF’s “abuse”.
The EFF did not agree on Daniels as a mayoral candidate and said the party was made up of “thugs and unrepentant fraudsters”.
Daniels told a press briefing that opposition parties walked out clearly because they now did not have the numbers.
He said that he would “never ever again” back the opposition.
This would not be the first time the PA has jumped ship and then changed its tune.
The PA officially withdrew from the DA-led coalition government in September last year.
At the time the PA had threatened to terminate its agreement with the DA if Daniels was not elected into the deputy mayor position. Daniels had been adamant he should be nominated for the vacant position of deputy mayor after he initially brought the ultimately successful motion of no confidence in the previous UDM incumbent Momgameli Bobani.
Then in March, Daniels joined the coalition again and was promised the position of mayco member for Roads and Transport, which he currently occupies.
Meanwhile, Trollip said the the walk out was well choreographed.
“This is yet another case of the opposition having lost face. It is a sad day that opposition parties have stalled business of this council since March,” Trollip said.
Trollip said that he was disappointed in Daniels who went to and fro – leaving the coalition and returning on several occasions.
“I have been disappointed but he and I have never had a bad word. We’ve never had an argument,” Trollip said.
The inclusion of Daniels and the PA back in the DA- led coalition means that they have 60 of the 120 votes in the council.
-African News Agency (ANA)