UDM confirms fresh bid to oust NMB mayor Athol Trollip

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) has confirmed fresh talks with opposition parties in Nelson Mandela Bay aimed at unseating Democratic Alliance (DA) mayor Athol Trollip, but denies the possibility of forming a new coalition with the ANC.

Leaders from the UDM, ANC, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and United Front — as well as the DA’s new coalition partner the Patriotic Alliance — held talks in Port Elizabeth, where the motion against Trollip was planned for next week.

“But we will have to see how that motion is structured because this is a continuation of the attempts to remove Trollip,” UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said, cautious not to raise expectations about this latest bid.

PA leader Gayton McKenzie confirmed the meeting took place, saying a motion would be tabled against Trollip. McKenzie added that the relationship between the DA and PA has broken down and that his party has agreed to a coalition deal with the ANC, EFF and African Independents Congress.

The ANC has been reinvigorated in its bid to oust the DA coalition in Nelson Mandela Bay amid tension between the PA and DA, following an apparent falling out between the PA’s councillor in the metro — Marlon Daniels — and Trollip.

Holomisa said the UDM “had long ago expressed its disagreements with Trollip” but the new talks did not by any means signal “a new coalition”.

The DA managed to retain control of the council by one seat, with its 57 seats plus one each from the Congress of the People, African Christian Democratic Party and the PA, despite losing the UDM and EFF’s support. 

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Govan Whittles

Govan Whittles is a general news and political multimedia journalist at the Mail & Guardian. Born in King William's Town in the Eastern Cape, he cut his teeth as a radio journalist at Primedia Broadcasting. He produced two documentaries and one short film for the Walter Sisulu University, and enjoys writing about grassroots issues, national politics, identity, heritage and hip-hop culture.

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