Port Elizabeth- Against the backdrop of chaotic scenes the Nelson Mandela Bay council on Thursday booted the United Democratic Movement's Mongameli Bobani as the city's deputy mayor.
Tensions were high and as the matter went to vote some councillors expressed their rejection of the motion before existing the chamber.
Sixty votes were in favour of the motion brought by Patriotic Alliance councillor Marlon Daniels to have Bobani ousted from his position.
Parties that supported the motion were the Democratic Alliance, African Christian Democratic Party and Congress of the People.
"The deputy executive mayor's erratic behavior has led to instability in this government and has on a number of occasions unnecessarily delayed important council business," said Daniels as he moved the motion.
Disgruntled councillors from the opposition benches including the African National Congress (ANC), the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and African Independent Congress walked out of council chambers while voting went ahead.
ANC caucus leader Bicks Ndoni, said that the fundamental issue was that at the time some councillors were busy walking out of the chambers, and a "fabricated quorum" was created for the 61 member quorum needed to continue with the meeting.
"It's a criminal thing that was done and it cannot be left like that. Whilst people are standing and you say meeting continues, it cannot be like that it's a very serious transgression. We are not going to take it laying down, we are going to pursue the matter and seek legal advice," Ndoni said speaking to the media outside.
"It's not a technicality, it's a clear matter of a quorum not being there. There was no quorum at the time the decision was taken, we are are very sure of that. They themselves know that they only have 60 councillors, so this thing of them saying we are hastily counting is very wrong."
The EFF agreed with the ANC that the process was flawed. EFF Councillor Zilindile Vena said that they rejected the Patriotic Alliance creeping in the back door.
Meanwhile, Bobani claimed Speaker Jonathan Lawack was meant to adjourn the meeting as soon as the situation became chaotic.
"How can the motion be passed when the other councillors were walking out? He was supposed to ensure that the meeting was in order, stop everything and count whether there are enough councillors to ensure the quorum can continue," he said.
"They were hell bent on making sure that this particular motion is moving and it is illegal."
Earlier, just minutes before the motion went to vote Bobani was seen whispering in the ear and patting Executive Mayor Athol Trollip in the back before exiting the chamber.
"I was telling him don't be personal, be a gentlemen and ensure that as the mayor you run this city by the book. Talk to your people not to mess around but you can see he didn't want to shake hands with me, he didn't want to talk to me he just shoved me. What type of person is that ? Maybe he doesn't want to shake a hand with a black person," Bobani later told reporters at an impromptu briefing with reporters.