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Bid to oust Trollip et al collapses, opposition parties lack the numbers

By Afikile Lugunya - May 10, 2018
Bid to oust Trollip et al collapses, opposition parties lack the numbers

The much anticipated continuation of a Special Council Meeting to debate the future of Athol Trollip as Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor on Thursday is probably the shortest meeting council has held in a long time after opposition parties that were seeking Trollip’s head withdrew their motions.

When the meeting began, the opposition found itself short of four councillors - two African National Congress (ANC) Councillors, Andile Lungisa and Bongo Nobimba, are in prison, while two opposition Councillors were late for the meeting.

Lungisa was on Wednesday jailed for two years for assaulting DA Councillor, Rano Kayser, back in October 2016, with the intent to cause Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) while Nobimba was sentenced to five years direct imprisonment for fraud and corruption in April.

The opposition parties were then lacking the numbers they needed for the motions.

When the meeting started, the African Independent Congress' (AIC), Tshonono Buyeye, rose to introduce his motion to remove Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Speaker, Jonathan Lawack, but announced that he was withdrawing the motion - a move which was seconded by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

The EFF’s Zilindile Vena said that the conditions were not allowing them to dictate what was presented.

Subsequently, the rest of the motions were withdrawn, including that against Trollip.

“This is by far the shortest council meeting I’ve ever attended in my life,” Lawack later told Councillors.

Speaking to the media, Vena said that “politics is a game of numbers and when we analysed further, we realised that we don’t have the numbers”.

However, he confidently added; “We haven’t lost anything, we will come back. Trollip won’t finish his term.”

Vena said that the EFF will not be deterred by Thursday’s events and said they were aware that Lawack had tactically placed the Council Meeting on a day after Lungisa’s sentencing.

“He won’t finish his term; this will be a permanent item in the council agenda because we don’t have confidence in him,” he described.

“At some point, the Patriotic Alliance saw that the man is not fit for the office and after some months, they went for the material particulars.”

Commenting on the outcome of Thursday’s meeting, Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape, Nqaba Bhanga, said that it is a victory for the people of the Metro at large.

“The DA considers this ANC/EFF failure to be a victory for the people of Nelson Mandela Bay, who came out in their numbers to vote for change in 2016. The mandate of the people must prevail, and in 2016 the people of NMB voted the ANC out of power decisively,” Bhanga said.

He further thanked those, who are standing with the DA coalition.

“Mayor Athol Trollip, and his government, will not be distracted by this frivolous campaign – we have the people’s work to do.”