Nqaba Bhanga survives his first motion of no confidence
The motion to remove Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Nqaba Bhanga was defeated on Wednesday when the majority of councillors voted against his removal.
The motion was submitted by ANC councillor Luyolo Nombola and seconded by another ANC councillor, Mbulelo Gidane.
For the motion to pass, opposition parties would have needed some councillors of the coalition government to vote with them.
While the voting and counting of the votes drew much debate, the final tally was 46 to 62 councillors against Bhanga’s removal.
When Nombola tabled the motion, his seconder failed to verbally second it, prompting PA councillor Marlon Daniels to do it instead.
Daniels all too happily seconded the motion, adding: “The PA will always have an appetite to remove Bhanga from that position.
“As the Patriotic Alliance, we second that motion.”
Wednesday’s meeting got off to a chaotic start, with ANC councillors demanding an explanation on how councillor Jonathan Lawack was elected speaker at a special council meeting on Tuesday.
ANC chief whip Wandisile Jikeka asked for clarity from acting city manager Mandla George as to how Lawack had ended up as speaker.
“Yesterday, the speaker adjourned the meeting and now we’re seeing councillor Lawack chairing this meeting,” he said.
Jikeka’s question was echoed by a number of ANC councillors, which nearly derailed proceedings.
During Tuesday’s council meeting, former speaker Buyelwa Mafaya was ousted through a motion and replaced with Lawack.
DA councillor Morne Steyn was elected council chief whip.
Mafaya was removed as speaker by 62 councillors who voted in favour of Steyn’s motion calling for her removal.
Before the councillors decided to vote on the item, Mafaya adjourned the meeting, saying it was illegal because she had not convened it.
She wants the high court in Gqeberha to nullify her removal.
She has filed court papers complaining that George and not she, called the meeting.
George called the meeting after 63 councillors petitioned the speaker’s office.
Arguments in Mafaya’s case will be heard on Thursday at the high court in Gqeberha.
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