Mayor briefs public meeting on removal bid
Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip was confident last night that a vote of no confidence in him and council speaker Jonathan Lawack would not succeed.
Trollip told a packed Walmer Town Hall that the DA had done everything it had to do politically to ensure the motions to remove them, set to be tabled in the council on Thursday, would fail.
It emerged last week that Patriotic Alliance councillor Marlon Daniels had submitted a motion to remove Trollip, while UDM councillor and former deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani had filed a motion to remove Lawack.
The motions are expected to be debated at the council meeting on Thursday and put to a vote.
Bobani and Daniels have until then to convince all opposition parties to vote in support of the motions.
The DA and coalition partners Cope and the ACDP make up 59 votes in the council at present.
The ANC has 50, the EFF 6, the UDM 2, and the PA, UF and AIC each have one seat.
Earlier this week, Bobani said lobbying was under way and they had even secured the support of some DA councillors.
However, Trollip said there were enough people in the council who did not want to see the ANC come back to power.
“There are enough people in the council that don’t want to return to the status quo,” he said.
“The sponsors of that motion who say, no, it’s not to return the status quo, know it is precisely to do that.”
Trollip said it was ironic that Daniels and Bobani were now working together to remove him after Daniels had filed a motion to remove Bobani from the deputy mayor position in August 24.
Bobani was removed by majority vote.
At the time, Daniels was in coalition with the DA and was eyeing the deputy mayor position.
“It is quite amazing,” Trollip said. “One of our coalition partners was the deputy mayor but it was not enough, he wanted to be the mayor and control resources.
“He wanted to enrich himself, he did things that were completely unpalatable to me and I fired him eventually after 11 months of trying to get his party to do something about him.
“They refused to do anything [and] I had to take those steps.”
Trollip said he was delighted there would finally be a vote of no confidence as he had expected the move a month after the coalition government came into office last year.
“It’s the best thing that could happen.
“We have had 14 months to suss out the situation, we know where our weaknesses are and where our strengths are.”
He said there would be no “Mr Nice Guy” after Thursday’s meeting.
“Nobody likes me, but I don’t care – I didn’t come here to be a nice guy,” he said, as the crowd occasionally cheered and clapped in agreement.
“After Thursday, the people who want to work with this government are welcome to come and work with this government.
“Those who get paid by this government who don’t want to work with this government, we are going to ask them to get jobs elsewhere – it’s as simple as that.”