/ 28 August 2017

DA’s Trollip: Axing UDM councillor won’t jeopardise coalition

The DA and Athol Trollip are confident they can snatch Nelson Mandela Bay from the ANC.
The DA and Athol Trollip are confident they can snatch Nelson Mandela Bay from the ANC.

Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip says the fallout with former deputy mayor United Democratic Movement’s (UDM) Mongameli Bobani should not dismantle the metro’s coalition agreement.

Trollip addressed the media on Monday about the axing of his deputy.

“We remain committed to working with the UDM, but we are not going to do it with councillor Bobani. If Bantu Holomisa needs to go to court to sort out the process and procedure before principle that’s his choice. Mmusi Maimane has made it quite clear that we remain committed to the coalition government,” said Trollip.

After months of tension between Democratic Alliance and UDM leaders in the region, Bobani was ousted during a chaotic vote of no confidence last week – 60 votes in favour of the motion.

The motion of no confidence was brought last month by Patriotic Front councillor Marlon Daniels and seconded by DA councillor Nqaba Bhanga.

The DA is in a coalition government with the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), the Congress of the People (COPE) and the UDM.

Last week, Holomisa told the Mail & Guardian that the party plans to go to court on Monday to force the DA to reveal the contents of the PwC report that is believed to be the reason behind Bobani’s axing.

But Trollip says Bobani was removed because he breached the coalition agreement.

“Councillor Bobani has not been co-operating as a coalition councillor and that we have for all intents and purposes have been acting as a minority coalition since January. It does not help having 61 votes when only 59 are cast for you. I noted in the correspondence to the MEC this weekend by councillor Bobani that he makes reference to the fact that the DA can only count on 59 votes,” said Trollip.

In a statement on Monday, DA federal council chairperson James Selfe said the party wants to remain in an agreement with the UDM, but will not tolerate corruption.

“The DA does not wish to end the coalition agreement with the UDM. There are many fine men and women in that organisation who, like us, are committed to eradicating corruption and delivering services efficiently to all the people of NMB [Nelson Mandela Bay]. But we simply will not work with one individual whose personal conduct is at odds with our agreement and commitment to zero tolerance of corruption. It is for that reason – and that reason only – that the DA voted to remove Mr Bobani as the Deputy Mayor,” said Selfe.