DA ambushed by dissent in NMB

Dissent within the Democratic Alliance caucus in Nelson Mandela Bay could cost Athol Trollip the mayorship if a councillor refusing to toe the party line remains within the fold.

DA councillor Victor Manyathi’s refusal to vote against the motion of no confidence led to council speaker Jonathan Lawack being voted out on Monday.

The motion was brought by the Economic Freedom Fighters and succeeded with 60 votes to 59. It is expected to be followed with a similar motion against Trollip.

If Manyathi remains within the DA caucus, he could abstain from the motion of no confidence against Trollip, forcing him out of power.

Manyathi’s abstention meant that the speaker was removed with one vote, as the DA governs the municipality with a coalition majority of one vote with support from the African Christian Democratic Party, Congress of the People and the Patriotic Alliance.

The opposition is made up of the ANC, EFF, United Democratic Movement, African Independents Congress and United Front.

Manyathi signalled that he wouldn’t be voting with the DA before the EFF tabled the vote in council.

“It is my choice to vote in favour of any motion, whether it is with DA or not. But I have decided that I will not vote with the DA today, and my reasons for that I have discussed with the leadership of the DA,” he told journalists in the council chambers in Port Elizabeth.

“I want change in this metro,” he added.

The DA immediately took action against Manyathi, announcing to council that his membership had been suspended with immediate effect. The DA constitution allows the party to expel any of its members who disobey an instruction of how to vote in national, provincial and local councils.

This led to the vote for a new speaker being delayed by seven days and an interim speaker being deployed by Cooperative Governance MEC in the Eastern Cape, Fikile Xasa.

But Manyathi plans to fight the move to oust him from the party.

By Monday afternoon his lawyers had sent a letter to Nelson Mandela Bay municipal manager Johann Mettler who is now the interim speaker indicating his intention to appeal the suspension.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

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.

Related stories

Herman Mashaba wants you to forget

When considering Herman Mashaba’s new political plans, the South African public must reckon with the former mayor of Johannesburg's actual record

Calls for climate change to top DA policy conference agenda

Some people in the Democratic Alliance apparently have a narrow view of what sustainability means, but voters are concerned about the climate crisis

Metro cops, SAPS clash over control

Tensions between the City of Cape Town and the police service over responsibilities mirrors the strain between national and local government

Bravo Bongani Baloyi!

Midvaal’s young mayor dispels all the persistent myths of young leaders not being able to govern effectively

Sewage still flows into ‘Poo Lake’

Despite Ekurhuleni spending R2.8-million on a sewer line to prevent further damage to a pump station, raw waste has contaminated a wetland

Corruption allegations: It’s a family affair at Dihlabeng municipality

The mayor, her relatives and their friends keep landing lucrative tenders and using state resources. Yet Lindiwe Makhalema has failed to declare the list of her relationships with people and companies benefiting from the municipality

New education policy on gender violence released

Universities and other higher education institutions have to develop ways of preventing or dealing with rape and other damaging behaviour

Cambridge Food Jozini: Pandemic or not, the price-gouging continues

The Competition Commission has fined Cambridge Food Jozini for hiking the price of its maize meal during April

Sekhukhune’s five-year battle for water back in court

The residents of five villages are calling for the district municipal manager to be arrested

Vaccine trial results due in December

If successful, it will then have to be manufactured and distributed

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday