Picture: Raahil Sain/ANA

Port Elizabeth - A special council meeting in Nelson Mandela Bay could not get underway on Thursday because of disruptions from opposition parties.

Several motions were expected to be tabled including a motion to have Mayor Athol Trollip removed, but a scuffle broke out between Economic Freedom Fighter member Zilindile Vena and Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane. 

The tensions soon diffused but opposition parties demanded that Maimane leave. 

Council Speaker Jonathan Lawack adjourned the special council meeting indefinitely and said there was clear intent from some councillors to disrupt the meeting. 

EFF councillor Zilindile Vena addresses Speaker Jonathan Lawack. PHOTO:Raahil Sain/ANA

When the meeting started shortly after 8am, the United Democratic Movement's Mongameli Bobani asked for a 20 minute adjournment for parties to discuss the sequence of the agenda and a secret ballot. 

Scuffle breaks out in council chambers. PHOTO:Raahil Sain/ANA

Bobani’s request was supported by the ruling African National Congress, the EFF and the United Front. The debate continued for over 40 minutes with Lawack making a ruling that the adjournment would not be granted.

Speaker Jonathan Lawack adjourns meeting indefinitely and leaves council chambers. PHOTO:Raahil Sain/ANA

Vena then refused to table the EFF motion to have Trollip ousted.

A normal meeting is expected to reconvene later. 

African News Agency/ANA