Port Elizabeth - Following heated scenes at a Nelson Mandela council meeting on Thursday, Executive Mayor Athol Trollip will stay on as the city’s head.
This after Trollip survived a motion of no confidence brought by the Patriotic Alliance’s (PA) Marlon Daniels, seconded by former deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) voted against the motion but were not all smiles when the motion was lost and remained in their seats while the Democratic Alliance (DA) jumped up to celebrate.
When looking at the numbers, Trollip’s fate rested heavily on the EFF’s support.
EFF councillor Zilindili Vena earlier told council that the party would not support the African National Congress (ANC) getting through the back door if the motion was to succeed.
“We will never support crooks like Andile Lungisa. Athol Trollip will get his day just not today,” said Vena.
The African National Congress (ANC) and minority parties which included the PA, the United Democratic Movement (UDM), the United Front (UF), and the African Independent Congress (AIC) voted for the motion with a total of 54 votes.
While the DA, together with its coalition partners, the Congress of the People (Cope), the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) in addition to the EFF voted against the motion with a total of 65 votes.
Following the much anticipated outcome on Wednesday evening, the EFF’s provincial coordinator Yazini Tetyana told the media that the party had to support the DA.
“In 2016 the EFF took a decision at the highest level to support the DA. We are still standing by that. We are not going to allow the ANC to take back the metro. People of the metro gave power to the DA they needed our support,” said Tetyana.
Daniels, however, said he was not surprised by the outcome, adding that the failed bid to have Trollip ousted was not a complete waste of time.
“It’s not a failure because at least the cat is out of the bag. We were always sceptical of the EFF, who claim they are an opposition but yet are in coalition unofficially so with the DA.
“With this motion we found out way before the time that the EFF are not going to support it but we thought it was in the interest of the broader community to illustrate were the EFF are aligned,” said Daniels.
Bobani however, was more optimistic.
“It is a sad day but it is definitely not the end of the road. As the UDM we are going to put another motion to be debated at the next council meeting. The fact that the speaker did not allow a secret ballot. We know the DA was pushing for a secret ballot at the national parliament but today the speaker refused,” said Bobani
Meanwhile, council speaker Jonathan Lawack also survived the motion of no confidence against him.
A total of 65 votes were tallied against the motion with 53 votes in support of it.
The motion saw the EFF again vote with the DA and its coalition partners Cope and the ACDP.
The motion brought by Chief Whip Werner Senekal to rescind the position of deputy mayor was also carried with 65 votes in favour.
The more than ten hour council meeting on Wednesday, the last meeting for the 2017 year, was characterised by tempers flaring and name calling.
Foul language was used on several occasions by councillor Daniels and allegedly by Cope’s Siyasanga Sijadu.