A special council meeting to hear the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) tabled motion of no confidence against Mayor Athol Trollip was withdrawn on Thursday morning after several council members were unable to attend.
Speaking to eNCA, the EFF said it made the decision on the grounds that it could bring the motion back again at another time.
This was the third motion of no confidence in Trollip. The previous two sittings, on March 29 and April 10, were postponed after a series of disruptions within the council chambers. The first meeting was adjourned as council members contested the order of the motion and were further incensed by the arrival of Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane. The second motion was postponed after speaker Jonathan Lawack was unable to maintain order in the council which had dissolved into a “shouting match”.
According to media reports, several motions were put forward at the council meeting on Thursday, but all of them were withdrawn as there had been some contention over the order of the motions at the start of the meeting.
Had the motions not been withdrawn, the Nelson Mandela Bay council would have discussed reinstituting the position of deputy mayor, the removal of the speaker, executive mayor, chief whip and current portfolio heads of council committees.
The Patriotic Alliance’s (PA) Marlon Daniels withdrew the motion to have the mayoral committee removed.
The M&G has previously reportedthat both the EFF and the United Democratic Movement (UDM) had disagreed with the removal of Mongameli Bobani as deputy mayor of the metro in 2017. Bobani had alledley been removed because there were fears that he, as a DA member, was “conspiring” with the ANC.
The position of deputy mayor was removed in 2017 and the United Fronts’ Mkhuseli Mtsila was arguing for its reinstatement in order to improve service delivery.
The move to oust Trollip was tabled by the EFF in February after the Democratic Alliance (DA) opposed the party’s motion on land expropriation without compensation in the National Assembly.
The motion had been supported by the ANC, EFF and the United Democratic Movement, but smaller parties — such as the African Independent Congress, African Christian Democratic Party and the Patriotic Alliance — had chosen to side with the DA.
Nelson Mandela Bay is currently governed through a DA-led coalition after the ANC lost the metro in the 2016 local elections.
Trollip faced a motion of no confidence tabled by the UDM in November last year, however the motion failed with the EFF voted against it.