ANC reportedly pursuing halt to further NMB council meetings over proportional seats

AUGUST 19, 2016

After a chaotic first council meeting of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality on Thursday that saw the inauguration of Athol Trollip as its new Executive Mayor, it would appear that it is going to be a bumpy ride for the new Democratic Alliance (DA) - led coalition administration. 

The African National Congress (ANC) Nelson Mandela Bay caucus, which finds itself in opposition benches for the first time since 1994, is reportedly going ahead with trying to stop further sittings of the new administration - claiming that the proportional representation seat allocation for the Metro was flawed.

ANC Nelson Mandela Bay Regional Secretary, Beza Ntshona, told EWN that the party is still discussing the matter after it first tried to halt the crucial council meeting at the last minute with a letter from their lawyers handed to Acting City Manager, Johann Mettler, on Wednesday.

“Those people [ANC lawyers] were given instructions indicated, but there was a case to take forward in this particular matter, so the letter was returned on those basis. But we’ve discussed the nitty-gritties on how do we take that forward now," he said.

""The issue is on the merits of the schedule used for the allocation of seats. It’s a legal matter now which will be handled by the lawyers. They will advising us on the type of court to approach."

Still, there had been conflicting reports on Thursday morning as the ANC claimed no knowledge of the letter while their lawyer, Barnabas Xulu, confirmed to the media that a letter was indeed sent to Mettler on behalf of ANC.

Dramatic inauguration

After many thought, the ANC had boycotted, they arrived late for the meeting and demanded that they be let into the Feather Market Centre.

When the ANC councillors were eventually allowed into the hall, Mettler gave them the opportunity to take the oath, one by one - they stood up as a group and took the oath and affirmation in isiXhosa.

Apparently, former Executive Mayor, Danny Jordaan, was not allowed into the for also arriving late.

Eventually, a call for nominations for the new Municipal Speaker came and the ANC began raising points of order.

Even after the election of the DA's Jonathan Lawack, as the new Municipal Speaker, the dramatic interruptions continued.

When eventually Trollip was elected unopposed as the new Executive Mayor, the ANC rose and walked out of the hall, amidst loud cheering.