Today the Democratic Alliance, along with the entire opposition, walked out of Council in order to deny the governing party the quorum required to force through a resolution in yet another attempt to reinstate the flawed and illegal ward committee election process.
We walked out of Council today because we want the governing party to understand that the days of ANC bullying are over.
Representing the more than 48% of voters in Nelson Mandela Bay who have voted for the DA and other opposition parties, we will not allow ourselves to be used for the purpose of rubber stamping flawed and illegal processes.
Earlier this week the ANC failed to muster a quorum to rubber stamp the election of ward committees so they called an emergency Council meeting this morning. Yet again they did not have the numbers and are now left with egg on their faces, particularly as they had gone so far as to arrange the entire ward committee inauguration event for this morning without the agreement of council.
In yet another astonishing move, the Speaker of Council went ahead and called for another “emergency” council meeting two hours later at 11:00am this morning. In spite of this abuse of powers, the ANC again failed to muster the quorum required and were forced, for the second time in one day, to abandon the meeting.
The ANC can no longer unilaterally pass illegal resolutions in Council because the voters have not given them that mandate.
I have engaged the Executive Mayor in Council and I have further engaged him in person to encourage him to sit around the table with us and assist in building a working relationship that will serve the interests of ALL our residents, not just some.
The DA believes that the process undertaken for the election of ward committees in Nelson Mandela Bay is illegal and we are in the process of submitting an application for review to the courts. We are well prepared to challenge the flawed process in court.
The election of ward committees is critical to ensuring increased, meaningful public participation and to bolstering democracy in our Metro. The DA has repeatedly called for the election of ward committees to be done because we believe the system, if done correctly, can add value to the democratic process.
The ANC led Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, however, has not had ward committees since September 2009 and now are more determined than ever to pursue a flawed process in spite of numerous warnings.
This flagrant disregard for the law is yet another example of the arrogance of Jacob Zuma’s ANC. The DA is committed to upholding the rule of law and if the ANC is not capable we are prepared to take the responsibility of governing off their hands in 2016.
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