Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor Athol Trollip. Picture: Luvuyo Mehlwana/Reuters

Port Elizabeth - Nelson Mandela Bay opposition parties have given Council Speaker, Johnathan Lawack, until Wednesday to confirm a date for their requested special council meeting to deal with several motions. 

ANC councillor Andile Lungisa said that Lawack has since confirmed a date for August 16, but opposition councillors were unhappy with that. 

"We are going back to his office today [Wednesday], because we are not happy with that. We want the meeting to fall on the Monday [August 13]. He is undermining the petition because it states within five working days. He will do anything to stall the process because he is also affected," Lungisa said.

Lungisa said the special council meeting would go ahead with or without Speaker Lawack. On the mayoral candidate position, Lungisa said that the ANC wanted the smaller parties to take charge.

"The ANC is working with the smaller parties, we want the small organisations to take charge and be at the centre until such time the ANC comes into government," he said. 

Meanwhile, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) say they will not support any candidate from the Patriotic Alliance (PA) for the position of mayor in Nelson Mandela Bay. EFF spokesperson, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, said in a statement that the party would not support a proposal by other opposition parties to install sole PA councillor, Marlon Daniels, as the next mayor of the metro should a motion of no confidence against incumbent Mayor Athol Trollip succeed.

"EFF will never give the City of Nelson Mandela to thugs. If there is no worthy candidate from opposition benches the EFF will not participate. However, we support the motion of no confidence against Athol Trollip." 

Ndlozi said that there were still ongoing talks on an alternative candidate to replace the sitting mayor, adding that the EFF was willing to engage all other parties to present a different candidate, with the exception of the PA.  

According to reports, United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa confirmed that Daniels was the choice of party leaders, with the UDM's Mongameli Bobani, tipped to be his deputy. 

The opposition parties, with the PA, hold a combined 61-seat majority in the council of 120 seats. 

The DA-led coalition together with the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) and Congress of the People (Cope) have 59 seats. The ANC has 50 seats, the EFF six, the UDM two and the AIC, PA and United Front have one each. 

The opposition parties are sitting together at one table in an attempt to put a new coalition government in place and want the following motions to be heard -- to remove Trollip as mayor; to remove DA councillor Lawack as speaker of council; to remove DA councillor Werner Senekal as chief whip; to rescind the decision of council in November last year that dissolved the post of deputy mayor; to vote in a new deputy mayor; and to remove all political heads of municipal portfolios.  

This will be the third attempt to boot Trollip from office after the last motion of no confidence was withdrawn by the EFF earlier in May this year. 

DA provincial leader Nqaba Bhanga said that with the latest planned motion, the ANC was trying to undermine the safety of residents. Bhanga said that any opposition party that sought to hand power back to the ANC was advancing a programme that would bring back a state of criminality and corruption. 

"The ANC wants to return criminals to the streets of NMB to steal the city and terrorize our communities. Two of their own Councillors were recently found guilty of criminal offences. They cannot be trusted with the safety of NMB. The DA-led coalition remains focussed on service delivery in NMB and will not be derailed by the petty squabble for power and positions fuelled by the ANC." 

African News Agency/ANA