The Nelson Mandela Bay council meeting on Thursday. Picture: Raahil Sain/ANA

Port Elizabeth - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) walked out of a Nelson Mandela Bay council meeting on Thursday following a fall out with Speaker Jonathan Lawack who rejected a motion of intent aimed at ousting Mayor Athol Trollip. 

While the African National Congress (ANC) followed suit the Democratic Alliance (DA) and its coalition partners continued to push through a number of items on the agenda.

When the EFF and ANC councillors were physically out of chambers  Lawack then stated that there was no longer a quorum and voting ceased to continue.

The EFF was unhappy because it had submitted a motion of intent on May 10 which aimed at removing Trollip. However, the motion of no confidence among four other motions was not cited on the council agenda because paperwork had not met certain “requirements”.

Other motions brought by the United Front (UF) and United Democratic Movement (UDM) sought to remove Lawack, Chief Whip of Council Werner Senekal and to rescind a council decision to dissolve the office of the deputy mayor.

The EFF walk out of a Nelson Mandela Bay council meeting on Thursday after Speaker Jonathan Lawack rejected its motion of intent which sought to have Mayor Athol Trollip removed. Video: Raahil Sain

Notably absent from the council meeting was the UDM’s Mongameli Bobani. 

Councillor Zilindile Vena said the EFF was unhappy and accused Lawack of misinterpreting the rules to sideline the EFF’s motion. 

Vena requested Lawack to explain why he rejected the motions being heard at Thursday’s council meeting.  

Lawack responded that the EFF’s motion of no confidence in Trollip had to be submitted by May 9, according to the rules. 

The ANC follow suit and join the EFF’s walk out. The DA-led coalition push as many items on the agenda through while the walk out is underway. Video: Raahil Sain

“Do yourself a favour and read the rules. By my calculation it should have been handed in on May 9 by the latest. Ten clear business days before.”

“Ten clear business days does not include the day of the council meeting it must be the day before,” said Lawack. 

Lawack refused to engage further with the EFF. Visibly agitated the red berets left council chambers, following suit were the ANC and the UF. 

By midday the council meeting adjourned permanently 

A special council meeting will now take place on May 30.

African News Agency/ANA