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Chaos after DA brings in Lutho Sokudela to replace Mbulelo Victor Manyathi

By Afikile Lugunya - Sep 25, 2018
Chaos after DA brings in Lutho Sokudela to replace Mbulelo Victor Manyathi

The second Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Council Meeting under the new administration led by Executive Mayor, Mongameli Bobani, on Tuesday descended into chaos after the Democratic Alliance (DA) apparently had two Councillors representing one seat in the Council Chambers.

Despite the presence of rogue DA Councillor, Mbulelo Victor Manyathi, whom the PE High Court ruled was still legally a Democratic Alliance Councillor, the DA apparently brought in his replacement, Lutho Sokudela, whom the party appointed at the beginning of this month.

Manyathi who abstained from voting on the 27th of August - effectively handed the then opposition parties a 60/59 win, which led to the ouster of the DA’s Jonathan Lawack as Speaker, and subsequently the entire DA-led coalition government.

The DA summarily terminated his membership, but he contested that his dismissal had not followed the party's rules.

On Thursday last week, the PE High Court ruled in his favour.

Still, Manyathi was on Tuesday sitting with African National Congress (ANC) Councillors.

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Speaker, Buyelwa Mafaya, noticed that Sokudela was sitting in the Council Chambers and asked him to leave as he was then not a Councillor.

However, DA Eastern Cape leader, and former Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality MMC for Human Settlements, Nqaba Bhanga, refused and insisted that Sokudela stays as he was sworn in to replace Manyathi.

There was then exchanges in the Council Chambers with Bhanga arguing that Sokudela is a DA Councillor and Manyathi is no longer part of the Democratic Alliance.

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Municipal Manager, Johann Mettler, whose future in that position apparently also hangs in a balance, then read out the PE High Court decision, which effectively re-instated Manyathi as a DA Councillor.

All this time, former Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, was on his phone - perhaps consulting on the developments.

In the meantime, there was name-calling and more disruptions.

Mafaya then adjourned the Council meeting for 20 minutes after explaining to everyone that her powers as the Speaker allow her to adjourn the meeting for 20 minutes to address the disruptions.

Meanwhile, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Councillor, Zilindile Vena, begged the Speaker to throw all those, whom he said were causing disruptions, out of the Council Chambers instead of repeatedly telling everyone that she is the Speaker.

The Patriotic Alliance's (PA) Marlon Daniels also seconded Vena and highlighted that Bhanga and Sokudela were sitting close to the Council Chambers enterance so it should be easy to get them out of the meeting.

More to follow...

Image: Cllr Nqaba Bhanga addresses Lutho Sokudela

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