Ricochet News

LEAKED AUDIO: DA coalition partners were in the dark about PA deal

By Afikile Lugunya - Apr 23, 2018
LEAKED AUDIO: DA coalition partners were in the dark about PA deal

While, for obvious reasons, parties to the Democratic Alliance (DA) led coalition government in Nelson Mandela Bay, often give out the impression of a smooth-running partnership, audio leaked to RNEWS - apparently recorded at a recent coalition meeting, suggests some partners are not privy to the goings-on in the coalition.

After failing to get an outright win in the 2016 Local Government Elections, the DA entered into coalition agreements with the Congress of the People (COPE)‚ the United Democratic Movement (UDM)‚ the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) and the Freedom Front Plus (FFPlus), with goal of ensuring it had enough numbers to keep the defeated African National Congress (ANC) at bay in Council. 

However, rumours of disagreements between Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, and his then Deputy, Mongameli Bobani, of the UDM, surfaced. They publicly denied it.

But, in May last year, Trollip sacked Bobani from the Health Portfolio, and in August, he was also removed from being the Deputy Executive Mayor.

Bobani has since claimed the relationship went sour because Trollip allegedly often takes unilateral decisions and would not consult coalition partners - basically, "running the city like a farm".

The audio somewhat suggests the same thing.

From the recording, it would seem that ACDP Councillor, Lance Grootboom, and others were in the dark about the deal that was struck between the DA-led coalition and the Patriotic Alliance (PA) this year.

Facing a vote of no confidence from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the DA-led coalition, which had a slight majority in Council, entered into a coalition agreement with the PA that they vote to defeat the motion against Trollip in exchange for a Mayoral Committee position as well as the position of Deputy Executive Mayor, should it become available again.

It was a surprise for many as PA Councillor, Marlon Daniels, previously claimed that Trollip, cannot be trusted because "the man is a liar".

A source then claimed that the ACDP was considering switching sides and joining the opposition parties that want Trollip gone apparently because the ACDP was unhappy about his leadership style, which the source likened to bullying.

However, Cllr Grootboom denied the claims and instead said that in any coalition government, political differences occur, but what drives them is one goal of ensuring better governance for the residents of the Nelson Mandela Bay.

Still in the recording, he is heard addressing Trollip saying that they were not informed of the PA deal as a coalition partner.

LISTEN TO THE RECORDINGS: here and here.

"There is a few issues, one is the PA as a coalition party, I was never informed I only saw it in the media. I spoke to my leadership they were also not informed," he says.

"There is confusion for me because I don’t know what is going on now. 

"We’re in the dark, and I feel like I’m just a guy in council lifting up his hand - let’s vote, let's vote... that’s not how it is supposed to be. I even took it up with my own party and obviously it’s not supposed to be like that." 

In the other recoding, COPE's Cllr, Siyasanga Sijadu, is also heard telling the meeting that they were not even sure if the PA is part of the coalition because they were not informed.

LISTEN TO THE RECORDING: here.

“People are assuming that the Patriotic Alliance is part of the coalition now, but we are uncertain as to what’s going on,” she says.

Concern was also raised when it was PA leader, Gayton Mckenzie, who introduced Daniels as the new MMC for Transport, a part, which many expected to have been played by the Mayor as there was Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality banners at the event. 

When the media pressed for answers, Mckenzie replied; "Why waste the Mayor’s time doing what we can also do, because I’m sure he is a very busy man."

Rumours the made rounds that the former MMC for Transport, Cllr Rano Kayser, was not informed about the decision to replace him with Daniels and only heard it when that was reported in the media.

Speaking to RNEWS, Kayser said that he volunteered for his position to be taken by Daniels for the benefit the organization and in the interest of the City and its people. 

“I joined the organization voluntarily, so I am led by the organization. For now, the organization wants my main focus to be to get involved in the matters affecting the Northern Areas,” Kayser said.