Port Elizabeth - Nelson Mandela Bay Patriotic Alliance (PA) councillor Marlon Daniels on Wednesday, said that he was offered the position of mayor by minority parties but declined it because he was not a dog that jumped at a bone.
The offering to Daniels was reportedly made after midnight on Tuesday, by councillors from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), African Independent Congress (AIC) and the United Front (UF) who visited Daniels at his home for an urgent meeting.
A meeting of the Nelson Mandela Bay council is set to decide the fate of the fragile Democratic Alliance (DA)-led coalition under the leadership of Mayor Athol Trollip.
Opposition parties led by the EFF and the African National Congress (ANC) have indicated that they would support a bid to oust Trollip at the special council sitting on Thursday, but this required the support of the PA.
Daniels has since signed the coalition co-governance agreement for the second time following the finalisation of a deal between the DA and PA on Tuesday, with Daniels set to be given the deputy mayor position and that of political head for roads and transport.
The deputy mayor position was previously done away with at council but that decision is set to be rescinded to enable Daniels to be accommodated.
PA leader Gayton McKenzie said in an open letter to the ANC that they would not vote against Trollip purely on the basis that he is white.
Daniels told a press briefing on Wednesday that opposition parties offered him the mayoral position on the condition that he assisted in removing Trollip at the vote of no confidence scheduled to take place on Thursday.
“Just this week it was the very same party who went public and said throw the PA a bone and they’ll jump at it. Last night they came with a big bone and we never jumped. They walked out there with their tail between their legs,” said Daniels.
He said that there was no pact between the EFF and the PA and they would not take instructions from EFF leader Julius Malema who he called a racist and a dictator.
He said that even with differences, there was respect between the DA and PA, adding that he believed Trollip was sincere in leading the metro.
Daniels said that the problem with the no confidence motion against Trollip was the arrogance of Malema and his hatred for white people.
“There's no substance in wanting to remove the mayor. If they came with other substantive reasons to remove him, maybe we'd consider it, but Malema is promoting genocide.”
He said that come Thursday he would not go through with the motion to remove mayoral committee members.
Daniels said the problem with Malema and the ANC were their egos and the PA would not be manipulated.
He was scathing towards the ANC caucus in Nelson Mandela Bay, saying that the party had no direction and was not interested in leading the metro.
“We're nobody's baby brother here. We're the kingmakers and no one is going to dictate to us what we're going to do,” he said.
Last year, Daniels was the first to bring a motion of no confidence against Trollip which ultimately failed with the backing of the EFF’s six seats.
The PA officially withdrew from the DA-led coalition government earlier in September last year. The PA had threatened to terminate its agreement with the DA if Daniels was not elected into the deputy mayor position. At the time Daniels was adamant he should be nominated for the vacant position of deputy mayor after he initially brought the ultimately successful motion of no confidence in the previous United Democratic Movement (UDM) incumbent Mongameli Bobani.
At the time Daniels said he was "deceived by Trollip" into believing that Bobani was a corrupt man and regretted the move.
"The reason for my apology is that I didn't think at my age someone can still deceive me with lies. Athol Trollip is a person that lies on a daily basis, he goes along as things evolve.”
However, on Wednesday, referring to Trollip, Daniels maintained that a “leopard does not change its spots”, however in making the decision he believed that the pros outweighed the cons.
“In any relationship there are pros and cons for none of us are perfect. And I’m sure fingers can be pointed at me as well because I am not perfect. So I’ve thought about and I still maintain that they mayor lied on those specific items but who of us here is perfect?” Daniels asked.
Earlier this month, the EFF, which helped the DA to gain control of the metro from the ANC after the August 2016 local government elections, filed a motion of no confidence against Trollip.
The EFF needs the support of every other opposition party, including the ANC, to make up the 61-vote majority in the council of 120 seats.
The DA, with its remaining coalition partners the Congress of the People (Cope) and the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), together have 59 seats, while the ANC has 50, the EFF six, the UDM two and the PA, AIC and UF one each.
African News Agency/ANA