PORT ELIZABETH – If a motion of no confidence is to succeed against beleaguered Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Athol Trollip, the Patriotic Alliance (PA) is willing to give up its candidacy of its sole councillor Marlon Daniels for the mayoral position.
This after the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) released a statement saying that it would not support a candidate that comes from a party of “thugs and gangsters”.
But it appears that Trollip is in the clear for now after Council Speaker Jonathan Lawack on Wednesday denied a request for the special sitting to take place on Friday.
Lawack cited that the several motions were contained on the agenda for a full council meeting which is set to take place next week Thursday.
Motions include the removal of DA councillor Lawack as speaker of council; to remove DA councillor Werner Senekal as chief whip; to rescind the decision of council in November last year that dissolved the post of deputy mayor; to vote in a new deputy mayor; and to remove all political heads of municipal portfolios.
All opposition parties in the metro who make up 61 seats of a 120 seat council, submitted the petition to Lawack last week.
Meanwhile,in a letter to EFF leadership, PA leader Gayton Mckenzie said that due to a lack of agreement on the selection of a mayoral candidate between the UDM’s candidate and the PA’s, a vote was taken.
“Everyone except the EFF voted for the PA candidate, and thus the PA candidate was accepted as the winner. All of this took place in good spirits.”
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The EFF subsequently released a statement calling the PA “unrepentant fraudsters and thugs”.
Mckenzie said that the enmity between himself and EFF leader Julius Malema was no secret as the two often publicly insulted one another. He said that he would not allow a personal feud to hold residents of Nelson Mandela Bay hostage to their suffering and therefore the party was “willing to remove its candidacy for the mayoral position”.
“The PA, however, is the kingmaker in Nelson Mandela Bay. The government cannot be changed without our help in this metro. Whoever thinks it is possible without the PA is either dishonest or misinformed about the workings of local government. They tried without our support before, and failed.”
Mckenzie said that the EFF’s latest actions were a cause for concern as it raised questions about how serious they actually were in removing Trollip from office.
“Their insults towards us could easily scuttle our fragile deal, thereby retaining Trollip as mayor under the pretext of opposition infighting.
The EFF has had no problem voting into power and keeping in power unrepentant racists and colonialists in other metros. But we will not give the EFF any excuse to retain the DA in power, and then allow them to point the finger at us for it.”
This will be the third attempt of to boot Trollip from office after the last motion of no confidence was withdrawn by the EFF earlier in May this year.