We’re not done with Trollip yet – EFF

EFF will do everything in its power to ensure that Athol Trollip does not complete his term.

EFF councillors, from left, Zilindile Vena, Yoliswa Yako, Phumza Tshanga (partially obscured), Thozama Mhlongo, Lukhanyo Mrara and Simphiwe Ntshiza at the council meeting on 10/04/2018.
EFF councillors, from left, Zilindile Vena, Yoliswa Yako, Phumza Tshanga (partially obscured), Thozama Mhlongo, Lukhanyo Mrara and Simphiwe Ntshiza at the council meeting on 10/04/2018.
Image: Werner Hills

The EFF will do everything in its power to ensure that Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip does not complete his term.

The party’s Zilindile Vena vowed yesterday that while its plans to unseat Trollip through a no-confidence vote had fallen by the wayside as yet another council sitting had descended into chaos, it would not stop until he fell.

Reminiscent of the March 29 meeting, which dragged on for eight hours, similar chaotic scenes played out at the Woolboard Exchange building as political parties paid tribute to stalwarts Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Chris Hani.

The ANC and EFF refused to allow DA councillor Nqaba Bhanga to pay tribute to Madikizela-Mandela, saying he was the embodiment of everything she abhorred.

They hummed and sang, drowning out his voice, while speaker Jonathan Lawack struggled to call the meeting to order.

We wanted to deal with the aspect of the motion of no confidence. We’ll continue with this until he falls
Zilindile Vena

He eventually adjourned the special sitting permanently, but not before ANC councillors Makhi Feni and Andile Lungisa referred to Bhanga as a “murderer of two girls”.

Bhanga’s bodyguard was involved in a car accident in Missionvale last year in which two people died.

Bhanga was not in the vehicle at the time.

Vena said Bhanga stood “for everything that was against what Mama Mandela stood for”.

“He can’t speak because he is standing for everything Mama Winnie stood against. She stood for land,” Vena said. “We are saying stop wasting five minutes on allowing councillor Bhanga to speak.”

Lungisa shouted: “You cannot have a person of Bhanga’s stature paying tribute to Mama Winnie after killing two girls.”

After the meeting, Bhanga pointed out that he had not been in the car at the time of the accident.

“How do you become a murderer when you did not have a weapon and were not in the car? I was far away from the car,” he said.

“It was my bodyguard in the accident – that story is long since out there.

“But they wanted to break me down.

“They are not going to.”

During the meeting, Lawack struggled to keep things under control, accusing the opposition councillors of wasting time by raising frivolous points of order.

They, in turn, accused him of being biased towards the DA and trying to ensure the meeting collapsed.

Lawack eventually adjourned the sitting permanently, which means the no-confidence motions against him, Trollip and chief whip Werner Senekal automatically fall away.

The opposition would have to petition

Lawack with at least 61 signatures if they want another special meeting, failing which they could submit the motions to be debated at an ordinary meeting.

Lawack said the disruptions were deliberate and he could no longer have a situation where council meetings descended into chaos.

He described the recent meetings as untenable.

Asked if there was an orchestrated attempt to completely collapse the council to be able to have early municipal elections, Vena denied this.

He said the EFF’s goal was to get Trollip out.

“We wanted to deal with the aspect of the motion of no confidence. We’ll continue with this until he falls.

“The DA and the speaker are playing tricks and we’ll make sure that ultimately Trollip faces the music.”

Cllr Siyasanga Sijadu and mayor Athol Trollip during the council sitting on 10 April, 2018. Speaker Jonathan Lawack adjourned the special sitting permanently after it had descended into chaos.
Cllr Siyasanga Sijadu and mayor Athol Trollip during the council sitting on 10 April, 2018. Speaker Jonathan Lawack adjourned the special sitting permanently after it had descended into chaos.
Image: Werner Hills

Lungisa said the opposition parties would ensure the special meeting resumed to debate the motions.

“We’re still waiting for the meeting to commence. The speaker left without even outlining the agenda for that meeting,” Lungisa said.

He also denied that the ANC was trying to collapse the council in the hope of getting an election rerun.

“What we’re saying is procedures must be followed,” Lungisa said.

After the meeting was adjourned, the DA councillors walked out with their coalition partners – the ACDP, COPE and the Patriotic Alliance.

The ANC, EFF, UDM, AIC and UF councillors stayed behind, singing and dancing.

At a media conference afterwards, Trollip said that at the previous council meeting, the opposition had spent eight hours filibustering and the only good that came out of it was the nation got to witness what transpired.

Referring to yesterday’s meeting, Trollip said: “Their behaviour [the opposition’s] was utterly disrespectful and disgraceful.

“There was a clear strategy – one hand went up after the other to ensure that chaos erupted.”

PA councillor Marlon Daniels said because the opposition saw that they did not have the numbers, they resorted to being disruptive because they were “losers”.

“Without us as the kingmakers, nothing is going to happen.

“It’s sad that it’s the only way that they can attend to their motions that need to be tabled and voted on.”

UDM councillor Mongameli Bobani said the opposition parties did not collapse the meeting and it was the DA and the speaker who were at fault.

“There will be no meeting that will take place here until our meeting sits,” he said.

United Front councillor Mkhuseli Mtsila said it had called for the special sitting, therefore the meeting needed to continue on its terms.

The next full council meeting is scheduled for May 24.

X