Nelson Mandela Bay executive mayor Athol Trollip File Photo / Gallo Images Michael Sheehan

PORT ELIZABETH - The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Nelson Mandela Bay was opportunistic and intentionally set a date to cripple the opposition in the motion of no confidence against Mayor Athol Trollip, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in the Eastern Cape said on Thursday. 

The EFF has vowed to have Trollip removed and said it would table another motion at the next council meeting. 

At a special council meeting earlier on Thursday, the EFF sponsored motion to oust Trollip was withdrawn in addition to five other motions set to remove Speaker Jonathan Lawack and Chief Whip of Council Werner Senekal. 

Other motions aimed to remove members of the mayoral committee team and to rescind council’s decision to dissolve the deputy mayor position were also withdrawn.

EFF Provincial Coordinator, Yazini Tetyana said the DA opportunistically saw a gap in which to advance its own political agenda and pronounced a date after the sentencing of ANC ward councillor Bongo Nombiba. 

Tetyana said the DA also set a date after ANC councillor Andile Lungisa’s sentencing, thereby knowing they were crippling the opposition.

Last month, Nombiba was jailed to an effective five years behind bars for fraud and money laundering while on Wednesday Andile Lungisa was jailed for two years after he smashed a glass jug over the head of former mayoral committee member for transport, Rano Kayser, during a chaotic 2016 council meeting.

Meanwhile, the DA was also supposed to be one member down, with undertaker-turned-DA councillor Mbulelo Manyati, set to appear in the Port Elizabeth Commercial Crimes court on a charge of fraud. 

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However, Manyati was in council, even though Magistrate Johannes Claassen did not grant Manyati's request for a postponement to allow him to attend the council meeting.

The EFF said that withdrawing the motion on Thursday was rather a  “well calculated delay”  and a motion to have Trollip removed will be tabled at the next council meeting on May 24. 

“We wish to reiterate we have pronounced on Trollip. Trollip is going.”

A bid to remove Trollip started brewing after the DA refused to back the EFF-sponsored motion in Parliament to have the Constitution amended in favour of expropriation of land without compensation. 

This was the third attempt to have Trollip ousted.

Two council meetings previously meant to deal with the motion both descended into chaos. 

Last month’s special sitting collapsed and was permanently adjourned following a shouting match between councillors. 

But on Thursday, the meeting lasted for less than 30 minutes with no disruptions.

African News Agency/ANA