The senior principals of the political partnership that governs the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro will meet in Cape Town on Monday to thrash out a solution to the impasse between mayor Athol Trollip and his deputy, Mongameli Bobani.
UDM president Bantu Holomisa confirmed yesterday he would hold discussions with the DA’s Mmusi Maimane, the ACDP’s Rev Kenneth Meshoe and Cope’s Mosiuoa Lekota to try to resolve the disagreement threatening the future of the coalition.
Trollip and Bobani, a UDM councillor, are at each other’s throats to such an extent that the DA mayor has fired his deputy from his position as member of the mayoral committee for public health. Bobani would remain as deputy mayor, but Trollip asked the UDM to find a replacement for him.
Trollip said if the party failed to do that, he would have no option but to propose a motion of no confidence in his deputy for the council to vote to replace him. The DA, UDM, ACDP and Cope are governing the metro after taking it from the ANC after the August 2016 local government elections.
This week, Trollip said Bobani had caused problems in the coalition partnership since the coalition was established.
“My intention is to ensure that this government is stable and able to deliver better services, stop corruption and grow the economy to create jobs. Councillor Bobani has done everything to prevent this from happening,” Trollip said.
Bobani told The Citizen yesterday that Trollip made unilateral decisions and removed him without consulting other coalition partners, as per the partnership agreement.
“Trollip is undermining the UDM. He can’t say what the UDM has to do in the coalition. He can’t fire me without consulting other partners because he has no majority in the council,” Bobani said.
Out of the 120 seats in the Nelson Mandela Metro, the coalition holds 61, of which 57 are held by the DA, two by the UDM and one each by the ACDP and Cope, while the ANC occupies the remainder.
Should the feud between Trollip and Bobani escalate into a split, there is a risk that the coalition would lose the metro to the ANC.