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VIDEO: Tensions as councillors debate motion of no confidence in Trollip

Nov 30, 2017
VIDEO: Tensions as councillors debate motion of no confidence in Trollip

Things got heated in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality's last Council Meeting of the year on Thursday afternoon as Councillors debated the future of Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, and Council Speaker, Jonathan Lawack.

Trollip and Lawack face motions of no confidence that have been brought to Council by the Patriotic Alliance's Daniel Marlon and the United Democratic Movement's (UDM) Mongameli Bobani.  Surprisingly, the motion against Trollip was proposed by Daniels, who in August tabled a motion of no confidence in Bobani, leading to Bobani's ouster as the Deputy Mayor.

On Wednesday, Daniels and Bobani decided to let bygones be bygones.

On Thursday morning, the attempt by the Nelson Mandela Bay opposition parties to remove Trollip and Lawack, in two motions of no confidence, seemed dead in the water after the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), who hold the deciding vote, decided not to side with the parties that had joined with the African National Congress (ANC) in order to see the motions through.

After all the drama witnessed this year, the Democratic Alliance (DA)-led coalition has 59 seats in the 120 seat Council. The DA has 57 seats, while COPE and the African Christian Democratic Party have one seat each.

On the one hand, the ANC has 50 seats while the minority parties, who intend to vote with them in the motions - the Patriotic Alliance, United Front, African Independent Congress, and United Democratic Movement, add a total of five seats.

Thus, the deciding votes rest with the EFF, which has six seats.

Until Thursday morning, it was anyone's guess as to whom the EFF would vote with. Early this year, EFF leader, Julius Malema, warned the DA and Trollip that they would withdraw support from coalitions in the Metro's if the DA continued with its "bullying" behavior.

However, it was also unthinkable that the EFF would vote with ANC, given the history between the two parties.

"The EFF will not support any of the opportunist motions of no confidence brought by the ANC in the Metros," said EFF Deputy President, Floyd Shivambu, in a Tweet.

"Any rational and sensible South Africa will know that of all devils, the ANC in its present form is not an option &can’t be trusted with political power. They must go jump!"

Ahead of the vote of no confidence, a confident Trollip addressed DA supporters, who gathered at the City Hall in Port Elizabeth to show their support for Trollip and Lawack.

This is a developing story - more to follow.

WATCH Councillors argue over Trollip's ouster: