Ricochet News

'Athol Trollip failed to read political mood among his Councillors'

By Afikile Lugunya - Aug 29, 2018
'Athol Trollip failed to read political mood among his Councillors'

The newly-elected Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality mayoral committee members believe that former Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, lost his mayoral position to the United Democratic Movement’s Mongameli Bobani because he failed to read the political mood of his Councillors. 

Bobani’s new mayoral committee consists of seven men and seven women – the majority from the African National Congress (ANC), who occupied their offices on Tuesday afternoon after initially finding the offices – including that of the Mayor, locked in the morning.

While the former Democratic Alliance (DA)-led coalition mayoral committee conducted their own meeting at City Hall, the new Mayoral Committee conducted their own meeting in another room at in the same building. 

However, the City Manager, Johann Mettler ended up attending the meeting held by the new Mayoral Committee and in the process officially welcomed Bobani as the new Mayor, despite protests from the DA that Trollip was still the mayor. 

Mettler didn't want to comment about Monday’s events that led him to leave the chambers, while Bobani reassured the people of the bay that they are in capable hands as the new leadership promises to bring stability in the Metro.

The new MMC of Infrastructural, Engineering, Electricity & Energy, Andile Lungisa, took an opportunity to explain why Trollip and his "troops" failed to retain their position on Monday.

"The reason why the DA lost control of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is because they failed to read the mood of their councillors,” he described.

The DA-led coalition’s majority at Council was undone when one of their Councillors, Victor Manyathi, abstained from voting, which resulted in the DA’s Jonathan Lawack losing his post as Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Council Speaker.

"Most of the black DA Councillors are planning on moving away from the DA - it's not only me, but others when they move away from the DA, they are being victimised," he said.

"I have to have a strategy to move away from the DA - I don't want to comment much, but I'm just saying that black Councillors are moving away from the DA for their personal reasons."

By the end of the day, Trollip and the entire DA-led coalition were booted out.

"You must be able to read the mood of your own troops if you are going to war; there is what is called a third column. You must know when you are a Commander and when you are not, Trollip failed to do that,"Lungisa added. 

"They are a political party and they must be able to read political moods even of their own Councillors.

"This leadership was created out of their failure to read their councillors’ political moods.”

At a press briefing held in Cape Town, DA National leader, Mmusi Maimane, promised that they will be lodging a legal challenge to the election of the new administration.

The ANC is expected on Wednesday afternoon to hold a press conference that is expected to detail a way forward.