It seems that the political power brokers of Port Elizabeth will not have much rest over the festive season.
After the controversial Mongameli Bobani of the UDM was removed as mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality on Thursday, Deputy Mayor Thsonono Buyeye of the AIC is now the acting executive mayor. He will be in this position until the next council meeting, expected in mid-January when a new coalition government is expected to be formed.
Between now and then there are several permutations at play as no party has an outright majority in the council.
The DA has 57 of the council’s 120 seats. The ANC has 50, and EFF six. The UDM has two, while Cope, the ACDP, PA, AIC and United Front have one each.
After the 2016 election, the DA governed the municipality in coalition with the UDM, Cope, ACDP and, at times, the PA. It also had an agreement that the EFF would support their mayor who was Athol Trollip.
However, relations with the UDM soured, culminating with Bobani’s removal as deputy mayor through a motion of no confidence after allegations of corruption, which he and the UDM have denied.
The PA also proved to be an unreliable coalition partner.
In February 2018, EFF leader Julius Malema infamously said he was going to “cut the throat of whiteness” by removing Trollip as mayor after the DA did not support the EFF’s motion in the National Assembly to amend the Constitution to allow expropriation without compensation.
After failed attempts to remove Trollip, the