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DA coalition partners also boycotting 'illegitimate' NMB Council meeting

By Afikile Lugunya - Sep 7, 2018
DA coalition partners also boycotting 'illegitimate' NMB Council meeting

It remains unclear whether the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality's first Council meeting after the removal of the Democratic Alliance (DA) led coalition government will proceed as normal on Friday.

On Thursday, the DA said that it will boycott the meeting ahead of a court hearing in which it wants the election of the United Democratic Movement's (UDM), Mongameli Bobani, as the new Executive Mayor, be set aside and Athol Trollip be reinstated.

Subsequently, its coalition partners also told RNEWS that will not be attending the Council meeting, which would be presided over by the African National Congress' (ANC) Buyelwa Mafaya, who replaced the DA's Jonathan Lawack last week Monday.

Speaking to RNEWS, former Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Sports and Recreation MMC, Siyasanga Sijadu, from the Congress of the People (COPE) said that attending the Council  meeting would be a waste of her time, "So, no I'm not going."

"It's not only a battle of the DA, but of the whole coalition - so why would I go and attend a joke of a meeting while we are still waiting for the court date?" she asked.

Cllr Marlon Daniels, of the Partriotic Alliance (PA), who is the former MMC for Roads and Transport, said that he will also not attend, but could not provide reasons.

"The PA  is a self-disciplined party and we respect democratic processes and the law, so I will not comment further until the 13th of September," he added.

The African Christian Democratic Party's (ACDP) Councillor Lance Grootboom told RNEWS; "I will not be attending tomorrow's meeting.

"I believe the current government and speaker is illegal and has no powers to call a meeting. Therfore, the only person that can call council meeting is the City Manager. Until the court has ruled the current goverment and speaker remain illegitimate."

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has a 120-seat Council, which means for a quorum to be reached, 61 councillors need to be present in the Council chamber.

DA Eastern Cape leader, Nqaba Bhanga, who is the former MMC for Human Settlements, assured that there will be no quorum after the DA replaced one of its Councillors, Mxolisi Victor Manyathi, whose actions last week led to the then-opposition parties, including the ANC, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), UDM, and United Front (UF), ousting the DA-led coalition government.

In his place, the DA has apponited Cllr Lutho Sokudela.

Still after the firing of Manyathi, his lawyers responded on his behalf saying that they will fight for him to stay as a DA Cllr.

Bhanga, however, said: "The law of the DA was followed in dismissing Manyathi, the City's Municipal Manager Johann Mettler has approved the decision as well as the national IEC has approved."

RNEWS was yet to get hold of the IEC for comment on Manyathi's fate.

Also speaking to RNEWS, the new Speaker, Buyelwa Mafaya, said that she was not fully confident that the meeting will proceed on Friday.