The Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth is next week expected to hear a case by the DA asking for an urgent review of what it has described as a “coup d’état”, when the ANC, EFF and UDM banded together to remove Athol Trollip as the mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB).
Former deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani of the UDM was elected mayor.
In a Facebook post on the Democratic Alliance Eastern Cape’s page, the party’s former budget and treasury MMC in Nelson Mandela Bay Retief Odendaal said they were “100% sure” they would be victorious in court.
“I want to assure you that Athol Trollip remains the mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay… We are expecting answering affidavits to our application by this coming Friday,” he said in the video clip.
“On the 13th of September, this matter will be heard by the courts in Nelson Mandela Bay.”
On Sunday, Odendaal released a statement on behalf of the “NMB coalition”, in which he called on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Zweli Mkhize “to put an immediate end to this illegal occupation of City Hall”.
Municipal Structures Act
Mkhize has appointed a task team to establish the facts in Nelson Mandela Bay.
The DA meanwhile contends in its court papers that the procedure to remove Trollip and council speaker Jonathan Lawack was not in accordance with the Municipal Structures Act.
City manager Johan Mettler had adjourned the meeting following Lawack’s removal, which occurred before the motion against Trollip, citing a lack of quorum after the DA caucus walked out.
The appointment therefore of a person designated by the MEC for local government Fikile Xasa, to preside over the election of a new speaker, was not procedural, the DA argued. Mettler was still capable of presiding, as per the municipal structures act.
In a statement last week, the Eastern Cape ANC thanked all political parties who set aside their differences and voted with their conscience in support of the motion.
“This had nothing to do with politics, but ensuring that the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality continues on its constitutional mandate of delivering services to its citizens while also protecting workers’ rights which have effectively evaporated under the tyrant rule of Trollip and his administration,” said ANC Eastern Cape spokesperson Judy Mpetsheni.
“The ANC is of the view that the municipality deserves a responsible, transparent, honest and accountable political leadership that puts the interests of the community of Nelson Mandela Bay first and not narrow selfish interests.”