Daniels in new call for deputy post to be filled

Marlon Daniels
Picture: Brian Witbooi

In addition to an attempt to unseat Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip earlier this week, Patriotic Alliance councillor Marlon Daniels has made a fresh call for a deputy mayor to be elected at the next council meeting.

The motion filed on Tuesday is Daniels’ second attempt at having the council elect a deputy mayor after he had made changes to his initial motion which saw the removal of former deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani on August 24.

The addition was that a deputy mayor be elected on September 21.

Bobani subsequently turned to the courts in an attempt to be reinstated to his position but the application to have the matter heard on an urgent basis was struck off the court roll in September.

At the time, Daniels – who was in coalition with the DA – had hopes of filling the deputy mayor position.

But the deputy mayor election item was not included on the agenda for last month’s council meeting.

Yesterday, Daniels said the new motion was to make sure the item was included on the agenda.

The latest motion was seconded by UDM councillor Thoko Tshangela.

In the motion, Daniels accused the council of breaching its own resolution to elect the deputy mayor on September 21.

“Therefore I move that the vacancy of deputy mayor be filled with immediate effect,” Daniels wrote.

Last Thursday, Bobani also submitted a motion to have the speaker in council, Jonathan Lawack, removed from his position.

Bobani’s attorney, Lionel Trichardt, said no dates had been set for his client’s court case to proceed.

However, any developments would depend on what happened at the council meeting on November 30.

“Because there are some political developments we have not set any dates, but if the motions that have been submitted are successful, then the court case will become moot,” Trichardt said.

Bobani declined to comment on the court case.

Daniels however said: “The UDM has informed me there is no court case [and] there is no guarantee when it will be on the court roll [but] the court case can happen any time within the next few months or in the coming years.”

He said he would respect any court outcome. “Should the court rule that Bobani must be reinstated, then that must take place. Should it rule that he was removed fairly and procedurally then whoever is elected [on November 30] must then stay in that position.

“To ensure that we take this metro forward and we go against the grain of Trollip’s liking and we make sure there is powersharing, I believe that a council resolution must be upheld.”

The Herald has also seen two more motions, one of which was submitted on Tuesday by the United Front’s Mkhuseli Mtsila and seeks to have the new overtime policy for municipal workers rescinded.

Some areas in the city have gone without electricity and water at weekends as workers refused to work overtime after the new policy came into effect on October 1.

In the motion, Mtsila has called for the previous structure on overtime to be reinstated with immediate effect.

Corporate services executive director Vuyo Zitumane said she was not aware of the motion.

“A motion which is not compliant with the law would lead to irregular decisions which would lead to consequences for those voting for it,” Zitumane said.

“If it has financial implications then the Municipal Finance Management Act consequence would kick in.

“And that would be financial misconduct which would also be reported criminally.”

A third motion, calling for the suspension of 17 municipal officials to be lifted, was also submitted by Bobani on Tuesday.

The Herald has reported that these suspensions have so far cost the city more than R5.9-million.

Lawack declined to comment on the three motions, saying: “I cannot discuss anything that has not been made public in front of council.”

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