The motion of no confidence against Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip was cancelled after the council meeting erupted into chaos.
“In the event of grave disorder, the speaker may adjourn the meeting or suspend proceedings for a period,” said speaker Jonathan Lawack. ”For those who are hard of hearing, the speaker may adjourn the meeting. Which I did. On which grounds are you challenging that?”
On Thursday morning, members of the council began the motion of no confidence in Trollip but before an hour was up, the meeting was in a state of disarray as members disagreed on the order of the agenda.
UDM councillor Mongameli Bobani raised the point that the first item on the agenda is to remove DA’s Jonathan Lawack as speaker. Lawack responded by saying that all the parties were given the order of the agenda and that the motion of no confidence was the first order of the day.
Following a back and forth between councillors and the speaker, EFF and UDM councillors walked out of the venue, forcing a 20-minute adjournment of the meeting.
— Sandy McCowen (@MccowenSandy) March 29, 2018
Another issue of contention was the presence of DA leader Mmusi Maimane at at the meeting. When Lawack welcomed Maimane, the DA caucus applauded while ANC and EFF councillors booed.
After he left the meeting, Maimane accused the EFF and ANC of holding the council ransom. According to the DA leader, the ruling party “had already conceded defeat” on Thursday morning when the ANC ”refused to put up a candidate”.
The ANC had already conceded defeat, they refused to put up a candidate, now the EFF and the leader of the UDM, continue the fight to collapse the council. Collectively they don’t constitute 10% of council, yet they hold the residents ransom. #MotionToBringBackChaos
— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) March 29, 2018
The opposition parties returned at 10am to continue their business for the day only for the speaker to adjourn the special council meeting.
Opposition parties wanted Lawack to continue with the meeting but failing that, the parties insisted that Lawack should make a ruling or the parties would take the issue to court.
Speaker Jonathan Lawack collapsed the meeting after the council erupted into chaos following an altercation between EFF leader Zilindile Vena and DA councillor and Member of the Mayoral Committee, Rano Kayser.
Members of the mayoral committee have indicated that a new request for a special council meeting will need to be submitted for the motions to be heard.