Nelson Mandela Bay council meeting in Port Elizabeth. Picture: Raahil Sain/African News Agency (ANA)

Port Elizabeth - Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Athol Trollip says the walk-out by opposition political parties during a council meeting was well “choreographed”. 

Opposition political parties including the ANC, UDM, EFF and AIC, walked out of the council meeting on Thursday.

The meeting was due to hear a motion of no confidence against Trollip. 

The meeting was postponed after opposition parties, including the ANC, UDM and EFF, walked out of the council meeting following numerous attempts to proceed. 

The parties claimed that the council meeting on Thursday was “illegal” as they had received the agenda late. Speaker Jonathan Lawack denied the claims and said the agenda was distributed in adequate time.

Lawack lambasted the parties for their claims of a late notice and said he would notify members of a new council date. This was the fourth bid to unseat Trollip from office.

Trollip said the opposition parties opted to walk out of the meeting as they knew they did not have the numbers to support their motion of no confidence. 

“This is yet another case of the opposition having lost face. It is a sad day that opposition parties have stalled business of the council since March,” said Trollip. 

Cope councillor Siyasanga Sijadu said she hopes South Africans would teach those councillors that walked out a lesson during the elections.

PA councillor Marlon Daniels, whose party had initially backed the motion, vowed his party would never support the opposition political parties in their attempts to oust Trollip. 

“I apologise to the people of this metro for us not being able to carry on with the duties of the day, because as the PA, if we had given our numbers to the opposition they would have remained in council. They walked out because they realise that they do not have numbers,” said Daniels. 

At a late-night meeting on Wednesday, opposition parties could not agree on a mayoral candidate. The latest motion initially had the backing of 61 opposition councillors. However, the impasse between the EFF and the PA rattled the opposition’s plans.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said they would not support Daniels as mayor if the motion against Trollip were to succeed. 

The EFF said that they won’t support a candidate that comes from a party of unrepentant fraudsters.

Daniels said on Thursday morning that he was still part of the coalition and that he had “never left”.

He said the PA decided to walk away from the opposition because he would not be subjected to the EFF’s “abuse”. 

Meanwhile, the ANC said the motion of no confidence would be tabled again in future and that the party would lobby other parties to support the motion.

IOL and African News Agency