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Motions to remove Trollip again set for debate, will opposition parties succeed?

Apr 10, 2018
Motions to remove Trollip again set for debate, will opposition parties succeed?

The Special Council Meeting adjourned on 29 March following disruptions and chaos is expected to resume on Tuesday where motions against Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, and members of his Democratic Alliance (DA) led coalition government will be debated.

"I sincerely trust to the commitment of the Speaker in continuing this meeting well within the 14 day window resolved by council on 29 March," said the United Democratic Movement (UDM) Chief Whip, Councillor Thoko Tshangela. 

"I hope that the speaker will heed the advice of his party’s national leader, Mmusi Maimane, and provincial leader, Nqaba Bhanga, and of the multi-party caucus of whips and party leaders during a break in proceedings on 29 March, to proceed with the agenda without disruption and in the order of the motions submitted.

"I am much impressed with the DA’s transparency in allowing a safe space for its councillors to vote their conscience."

According to Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) Chairperson, Cllr Yoliswa Yako, of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), it was the Speaker of Council, who is to blame for the chaos seen at the last meeting.

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.

Meanwhile 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 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.

That would give the DA-led coalition a slight majority of 61 votes - or if that is not true, then the council would come to stalmate where Speaker, Lawack, who also faces the chop, will have to cast his vote.

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

However, Yako told RNEWS that all will be determined at the Special Council Meeting.

While the opposition parties would have wanted the voting to be by secret ballot, to allow the DA Councillors that they claim also want Trollip out to vote with their conscience, Lawack said voting will be by a show of hands.