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‘We’re ready to teach Malema a lesson’ SaveNMBRally hears – PA promised Deputy Mayor post

By Jesica Slabbert - Mar 28, 2018
‘We’re ready to teach Malema a lesson’ SaveNMBRally hears – PA promised Deputy Mayor post

Democratic Alliance (DA) supporters on Wednesday gathered at the Vuyisile Mini Square in front of the Port Elizabeth City Hall to show their support for Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, who faces a motion of no confidence from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Thursday.

Speaking at the event, dubbed the #SaveNMBRally, DA Eastern Cape leader, Nqaba Bhanga, said that EFF leader, Julius Malema, had become the new Eugène Terre'Blanche, and they are going to teach him a lesson.

“Today and tomorrow is going to be important, because we are going to teach Julius Malema a lesson. Not in the name of Nelson Mandela will people be based on the colour of their skin,” he said.

"Julius Malema, you run your home, the ANC, you run the EFF, you do not run the DA."

He told the crowd of DA supporters and their coalition partners - the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) and the Congress of the People (COPE), that Malema’s “brand of hatred and hate speech must not be taught to our children”.

“We are going to meet him tomorrow. We are going to defeat him,” Bhanga said.

“We did not elect Athol Trollip because he is white. We elected him because he is a South African.”

When Trollip addressed the crowd, he said when residents voted out the African National Congress (ANC), it was because they wanted change, but now the EFF wanted to undo that change – even when they had supported the DA-led coalition when it came into power.

“We were good enough to cooperate with 18 months ago, but Julius Malema changes his mind like the weather. That's his choice. But voters vote on consistency,” he said.

“If the EFF wants to get rid of us for that, we will go back to the trenches.”

Marlon Daniels could become new Deputy Executive Mayor

In a turn of events, Trollip announced to the media that the Patriotic Alliance (PA) Councillor, Marlon Daniels, will become the next Deputy Executive Mayor, if the motion to reinstate the position succeeds on Thursday.

On Tuesday, the Patriotic Alliance announced that it would stand with the DA-led coalition.

Ironically, the Patriotic Alliance and other parties last year also tried to remove Trollip through a vote of no confidence - after an apparent deal to have its Councillor, Marlon Daniels, become new Deputy Executive Mayor, went sour, but he was saved by the EFF.

Daniels was the one, who tabled a motion for the dismissal of the United Democratic Movement (UDM) Mongameli Bobani as Deputy Mayor in August.

The Patriotic Alliance was for a few weeks admitted into the DA-led coalition after that Council meeting.

In September, it left the coalition apparently after the DA failed to honour the agreement on the position of Deputy Mayor.

It later announced the motion against Trollip, which was supported by the UDM after Daniels and Bobani agreed to let by-gones be by-gones.

The EFF came to the aid of Trollip and at that meeting the Deputy Mayor position was also abolished.

The parties later accused the EFF of siding with the DA after being promised the Chairperson position for the municipality's Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC).

In December, the EFF got the position in a surprise Mayoral Committee reshuffle.

“The motion to bring back the position of the Deputy Mayor has been put forward, and it is being sponsored by the very people that voted to have it taken away,” Trollip said.

“If that position is to be re-introduced to the municipality, Marlon Daniels from the Patriotic Alliance will occupy that position. They have also been offered the position of Head of Roads and Transport – an important portfolio.”

He said that the DA, the ACDP and COPE had been in a minority since the removal of Mongameli Bobani of the United Democratic Movement (UDM) as Deputy Executive Mayor.

“We then took a decision that, regardless of whether we became a minority coalition or not, we are going to take a principal decision to take a stand,” said Trollip.

“We always knew that from the moment we took that decision, that the coalition government would be vulnerable. And if it is vulnerable it is so for all sorts of reasons, because in council you vote in weight of numbers.

“We are committed to making this coalition government work. We are all committed and in fact, all of us in the coalition that governs, have even committed ourselves to losing our positions if necessary, and crossing the floor with dignity into the ranks of the opposition to carry on with our project, which is to build a society as a City and a country with one future for everybody.”

As things stand, the DA has its 57 seats and its coalition partners, the COPE and the ACDP have one seat each - for a total of 59 votes in the 120-seat council.

On the one side, the ANC has 50 seats, the EFF has six, the UDM has two seats, the African Independent Congress (AIC) has one seat and the United Front Eastern Cape has one seat.

The Patriotic Alliance, with its one seat, then holds the crucial vote - which brings voting to a stalmate.

In that situation, Council Speaker, Jonathan Lawack, of the DA, who also faces the chop if the motions go through, will cast the deciding vote.

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