Second attempt to remove Trollip

Both DA and opposition confident ahead of council vote on fate of mayor

Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip
Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip
Image: Brian Witbooi

Fresh from his re-election as DA federal chairman at the weekend, Athol Trollip will today face yet another push to remove him as Nelson Mandela Bay mayor.

This would be the second attempt to debate a motion against Trollip in as many weeks, following a special sitting last month which deteriorated into a chaotic screaming match between parties in council.

A major bone of contention in that meeting was the order of the agenda as the opposition demanded that the motion to remove speaker Jonathan Lawack be heard first.

Doing so could have eliminated the possibility of Lawack, a DA councillor, casting the deciding vote in the event of a tie in the Trollip vote.

Also on the agenda today is a motion to remove committee chairpersons, chief whip Werner Senekal as well as the election of a deputy mayor.

However, United Front councillor Mkhuseli Mtsila, who sponsored a motion to have the deputy mayor position reinstated, yesterday said he would withdraw it.

This follows a deal between the DA and the Patriotic Alliance which could see the PA’s Marlon Daniels be elected deputy mayor in exchange for supporting Trollip.

ANC regional secretary Themba Xathula said his party would continue with its motion to appoint a deputy mayor.

“We’re also continuing with our support of the motion of no confidence in Trollip. It’s a numbers game and tomorrow [today] we’ll see who comes out on top.”

What is likely to cement Trollip’s position is a vote from the AIC which made an about-turn last month, opting to support the mayor to punish the ANC over a standoff regarding its constituency in Matatiele.

AIC president Mandla Galo said his party would withdraw its motion to have Lawack removed.

“Our decision still stands. We’re disciplining the ANC in the Eastern Cape.”

Galo said the ANC had failed to deliver on its promise to have Matatiele fall back into KwaZulu-Natal.

He said no attempts had been made by the ANC provincial executive committee to try to change the AIC’s mind.

“I’ve received calls from my former ANC colleagues in the province who’ve asked me to reconsider the decision but up until now, no calls have come from the PEC,” Galo said.

Meanwhile, last week Lawack rejected a request from the EFF – the sponsors of the motion against Trollip – for the vote to be by secret ballot.

The EFF believed that there might have been councillors in the DA who were willing to vote against Trollip, if they were given the option of anonymity.

Yesterday, Senekal said the party’s entire caucus supported the mayor.

“We will defeat the motions tomorrow [today],” Senekal said.

UDM councillor Mongameli Bobani said his party was more confident than ever that Trollip would be removed.

Bobani said there were 120 councillors who represented constituencies that the DA-led coalition government had failed.

“Our townships are dirty, there’s a high unemployment rate, raw sewage is spilling over in streets in townships and these councillors know this.”

PA councillor Marlon Daniels said he would never entertain the removal of an individual from a position based on the colour of his skin.