DA councillor Victor Manyati abstained from the vote which ultimately led to the removal of speaker Jonathan Lawack. PHOTO: Raahil Sain/ANA

PORT ELIZABETH - The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Monday terminated the membership of its Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Victor Manyati. 

This after Manyati betrayed his party by abstaining from a vote which saw the removal of Council Speaker Jonathan Lawack. 

Municipal Manager Johan Mettler is now presiding over a council meeting and has since sought legal advice on the extent of his authority. Mettler said that his authority only extended to presiding over the election of a new speaker. 

According to legal advice, Mettler does not have the authority to adjourn the meeting.

Meanwhile, in a letter read by Mettler, DA federal executive chairperson James Selfe indicated that the party terminated Manyati’s membership after he publicly stated he would be leaving the party. 

In the letter, Selfe asked Mettler to declare a vacancy.

Earlier on Monday, Manyati said he would not vote with the DA on any other motion, including a motion brought to have Executive Mayor Athol Trollip removed. 

“I’ve taken a sober decision not to vote with the DA today. I have personal reasons.

“I need change in this metro, in fact I need change not only in the metro but in the entire country.” 

Manyati said that he would be leaving the DA and claimed that black councillors were unhappy within the party. 

The motion against the Speaker was brought by the United Democratic Movement’s (UDM) Mongameli Bobani. 

Votes tallied were 59 against and 60 for the motion. 

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African News Agency (ANA)