Athol Trollip was ousted as mayor by 61 votes to 59 in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro. Picture: African News Agency/ANA
Long knives are now out for Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga, after the removal on Monday of Nelson Mandela Bay metro mayor Athol Trollip as the coalition between the EFF and DA continues to unravel.

On Monday, the EFF said it was more emboldened by Trollip’s successful removal, saying the party would now ensure the removal of Msimanga through a motion of no confidence on Thursday.

EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu took to social media, saying Trollip’s ousting was proof that the party was able to ensure the removal of those it did not want.

“The EFF does not say a person will fall and it does not happen. We don’t promise, we commit. Thursday the puppet of white supremacy will also bite the dust,” Shivambu said.

Mongameli Bobani of the UDM was elected the new executive mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay metro after receiving 61 votes.

The AIC’s Tshono Buyeye was elected as the new deputy mayor of the metro, while the ANC’s Buyelwa Mafaya was elected council speaker.

Political analyst Lukhona Mnguni said Trollip’s leadership style was partly to blame for his ousting on Monday.

“An analysis of Nelson Mandela Bay municipality that centres the ANC and EFF as engineers of the crisis will fall short. Analysis must go back to day one when Trollip jumped the gun, put a local coalition together and went on to talk about how much he does not need the EFF,” he said.

Mnguni also said Trollip’s handling of the Bobani saga alienated an important partner in the metro. Trollip was embroiled in a protracted fight with Bobani, his deputy at the time.

“Much of all this soap opera at Nelson Mandela Bay metro rests squarely on the shoulders of Athol’s leadership style and temperament. It is to scapegoat and find easy targets to centre the EFF and ANC.

“The DA had the wrong person for the coalition. Of course the DA had no choice, Trollip anointed himself in that position. Which brings about another problem the DA faces, members who believe they own the party and cannot be told what to do and how to do it. Self-inflicted injury is what the DA is currently suffering,” Mnguni said.

DA Eastern Cape provincial leader Nqaba Bhanga said the removal of the DA-led coalition would see the reversal of service delivery and clean governance.

“This decision by the unholy alliance of the ANC, EFF and UDM is to fill their own party coffers with public funds and bring looting back ahead of the 2019 elections. The ANC and the EFF have rejected the will of the people in favour of enriching themselves.

“The ANC lost Nelson Mandela Bay in 2016 as the people of the Bay finally fired them after two decades of brazen corruption. Since then, the DA-led government has turned the tide on corruption and ensured the people’s money is spent on benefiting the people of Nelson Mandela Bay,” Bhanga said.

Earlier, the metro’s council meeting came to a standstill after council speaker Jonathan Lawack was removed when DA councillor Victor Manyati abstained from voting.

The motion was brought by Bobani. Votes tallied were 59 against and 60 for the motion.

City manager Johan Mettler took over the reins in presiding over the meeting, and upon seeking legal advice, decided to declare a vacancy after the DA’s federal executive chairperson James Selfe wrote a letter indicating that Manyati’s membership had been terminated.

In the letter, Selfe asked Mettler to declare a vacancy.

But later, Mettler did an about-turn after he sent a text message to ANC councillor Rory Riordan stating that he would retract declaring a vacancy and a council meeting should reconvene with seven days.

Meanwhile, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Fikile Xasa sent a senior official to preside over the council meeting and oversee the election of a new council speaker.

The ANC’s Buyelwa Mafaya was elected as the new speaker.

Other motions which have been in the pipeline for months were moved and carried unanimously with 61 councillors present.

Bobani wasted no time in electing his new mayoral committee team, assuring residents that the “honeymoon season starts now”.

Manyati earlier said he would not vote with the DA on any other motion.

Political Bureau