ACDP councillor Lance Grootboom, DA councillor Athol Trollip and COPE councillor Siyasanga Sijadu. Picture: Raahil Sain / African News Agency (ANA)

Port Elizabeth - A special meeting held by the Democratic Alliance (DA), the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) and Congress of the People (Cope) in Nelson Mandela Bay, flopped on Friday when several councillors from the coalition government failed to pitch for the intended ousting of Executive Mayor Mongameli Bobani. 

A number of councilors in the coalition government had signed a petition for a motion of no confidence to be brought against Bobani but it would appear the councillors had a change of heart and did a seeming about-turn by not pitching for the gathering.

Only 59 out of a total of 120 councillors turned up at council chambers and thus did not reach the 61-member quorum as required by the council rules of order. 

DA councillor Athol Trollip adjourned the meeting when it became apparent a number of councillors from the coalition government would not pitch. 

A press conference was later called where Trollip said that Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Fikile Xasa had earlier promised that he would send officials to oversee the meeting. However, Cogta officials were not seen at the meeting.

Trollip said more than 61 councillors had signed the petition and because of this majority number, Speaker Buyelwa Mafaya was obliged to convene the meeting. But earlier this week, Mafaya had refused, citing that council was in recess, nor was the matter a disaster or an emergency. 

"We were approached by the African National Congress (ANC) and Patriotic Alliance (PA) and seven signatures were submitted to us for the motion of no confidence. They were supposed to be here but they are not for whatever reason.”

Trollip raised further concerns that Nelson Mandela Bay would be at some stage be put under administration.

ACDP councillor Lance Grootboom said that the Speaker was obliged to hold the special council meeting and her refusal meant she was not upholding the rules of order. 

“We had a majority of councillors that signed the petition. But those councillors are not here and it is a show of their support for Bobani. Since Bobani has taken over, this city is dirty, there has been no improvement and the municipality is unable to even spend R200 million,” said Grootboom. 

COPE councillor Siyasanga Sijadu alleged that people had died in Nelson Mandela Bay due to the decision-making of Bobani. 

“We’ve seen Bobani put councillor’s lives in danger,” she said. 

She further slammed the EFF: “The very EFF who said they would remove Bobani after election, they are not here.” 

African News Agency (ANA)