Ricochet News

EFF and UDM deny causing Council chaos, blame Speaker, Jonathan Lawack

By Afikile Lugunya - Apr 4, 2018
EFF and UDM deny causing Council chaos, blame Speaker, Jonathan Lawack

"We didn’t cause chaos; it was the Speaker’s inability to lead that led to the chaos in the Special Council Meeting," Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) Chairperson, Cllr Yoliswa Yako, of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) told RNEWS on Wednesday.

Yako said that the EFF wrote a letter to Council Speaker, Jonathan Lawack, asking him to ensure that the motion to remove him as Speaker would be tabled first before a motion against Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip.

She said, however, Lawack chose to ignore them when councillors asked him why he changed the order of the agenda to make the motion against him the last one to be tabled, which eventually led to the chaos and the postponement of the debate on the motions.

“The Speaker is partisan - he bends backwards to ensure that he fulfils what his party [the Democratic Alliance] wants,” Yako described.

“The chaos was because of the Speaker, not us; it was because of his leadership style.”

Just after the event, Lawack told the SABC that the chaos was orchestrated by the opposition parties.

“Currently, we are considering studying the material and on the grounds of that we will start proceedings to sanction those councillors, who were involved,” Lawack said.

He added that a review would be considered to prevent what occurred in that Special Council Meeting.

“We are hoping to set a new set of rules for Council within the foreseeable time that includes penalties for those, who break those rules knowingly,” Lawack told the SABC.

However, Regional Chairperson of the United Democratic Movement (UDM), Mongameli Bobani, who is also the former Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Deputy Executive Mayor, said that the process can take up to three months because a Council is not a “farm” - there are procedures that need to be followed.

“You don’t just sleep and dream of changing the rules of a Council. It doesn’t work like that, and there are stakeholders involved,” he said.

Bobani also denied having caused the chaos in the Council Meeting last week.

“We are not a chaotic people. This is, just a matter of an arrogant Speaker, who listens to Trollip instead of what the councillors want,” he added.

Bobani maintains that the opposition parties have the required numbers to oust Trollip and the DA-led coalition, despite the Patriotic Alliance (PA) joining coalition while another smaller opposition party, the African Independent Congress (AIC), is rumoured to have also dumped the opposition parties, which would mean the DA-led coalition is now in the majority in the 120-seat Council.

“We are in a hurry to remove all of them," he added.

However, Yako told RNEWS that all will be determined at the Special Council Meeting now set for Tuesday next week.