PORT ELIZABETH - Former Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Athol Trollip must stop telling lies about the failure by the Democratic Alliance (DA) to win an outright majority in the 2016 local government elections to take control of the Port Elizabeth metro, former DA MP Donald Lee said on Tuesday.
Lee was responding to comments made by Trollip at the Cape Town Press Club on Monday.
Trollip had accused both Lee and former DA Eastern Cape chairwoman Veliswa Mvenya of turning against the party before the municipal elections after their preferred candidates did not make it onto the Nelson Mandela Bay list of councillors.
Mvenya believes the candidates were overlooked as punishment for supporting her instead of Trollip's favoured candidate, Edmund van Vuuren, during the 2014 elective conference.
Some of the councillors opted to stand as independent candidates and Lee supported their action. Towards 2016 Local Government Elections Mvenya resigned from the DA, citing tensions with Trollip but was persuaded to retract her resignation.
Trollip told the Cape Town Press Club that Mvenya and Lee acted were focused on their self-interests and it was these actions that cost the party the 50+1 percentage it required to govern without forming a coalition government.
The DA-led coalition government in Nelson Mandela Bay collapsed in August after DA councillor Mbulelo Victor Manyati abstained from voting during a no confidence motion in Trollip.
Lee said he has been inundated with calls from the people in the community who are shocked about Trollip's comments.
"People are now questioning my loyalty and some are blaming me but those who know what happened leading up to the elections are telling me reply to this," said Lee.
He said Trollip was not telling the truth and was again failing to take responsibility for the party's failure to win Nelson Mandela Bay in 2016.
Lee said: "As a DA I must be careful about how I deal with this matter, but I can not allow Athol Trollip to tell lies, to use fallacious argument. He is the one who started this."
Mvenya, who has since joined African Transformation Movement, said it was not the first time that Trollip passed the buck to cover his failure.
"It is a fact that councillors who supported my election for the chairperson of the province were excluded from the list, that was done by Trollip. When they left the party they did not go with me. I'm done with the DA he must find another scapegoat," said Mvenya.
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African News Agency (ANA)