Trollip given lifeline
In case of a tie in the mayor’s motion of no confidence, DA council speaker will vote as well
FOLLOWING weeks of bickering among political parties that entered into a strategic agreement with the DA for it to take charge in Nelson Mandela Bay, mayor Athol Trollip’s moment of truth has arrived.
Trollip will today fend off an Economic Freedom Fighters-led motion of no confidence against him in today’s special council sitting. The motion is backed by the ANC, the United Democratic Movement (UDM) and the African Independent Congress (AIC).
With votes from the Congress of the People (Cope), the Patriotic Alliance (PA) and the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), the DA has 60 votes in the council. This ties with the EFF, ANC and UDM’s agreement. In the event of a tie, DA council speaker Jonathan Lawack will vote as well.
Against increasing indications that the party’s grip on Nelson Mandela Bay is under strain, Trollip told The New Age yesterday that he would not give up his mayoral position without a fight.
“We need to get 61 votes. The PA brings us even. It helps but we won’t stop talking to other political parties until the vote.
“We’ll do everything in our power to make sure that the votes of the people aren’t undermined,” Trollip said.
Today’s vote comes against the background of a race to find Trollip’s replacement, if he is removed.
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule said this week that the party had not decided who would be Trollip’s possible replacement.
“We are discussing that. We are consulting the leadership of the Eastern Cape. We have consulted the alliance structures in the Eastern Cape. We are busy with that matter.
“We don’t believe that coalitions work, therefore we have not yet decided on anything,” Magashule said.
PA councillor Marlon Daniels, who was offered the position of deputy mayor in exchange for siding with the DA on the vote, said yesterday that the PA would not be supporting the EFF’s bid.
“It’s in the interest of Nelson Mandela Bay metro that we will have to support the DA, Cope and the ACDP. Purely based on having scrutinised the reasons that the EFF has put out there for why they want to remove the mayor Athol Trollip.
“And having looked and analysed it, would look like that in its entirety, we realised that (those are) purely racedbased reasons. There are no other substantive reasons as to why he has to be removed,” Daniels said.
PA leader Gayton McKenzie wrote an open letter to the ANC, explaining why the party decided to close ranks behind the DA on the vote.
He said the EFF’s racial attack on Trollip dissuaded the party from voting with the Red Berets.
“I am, of course, not surprised by such utterances from the EFF, which has proven itself willing to do just about anything for media headlines and political survival, particularly after their biggest political blunder of having handed power to the DA while professing to be a revolutionary party,” he said.
McKenzie also lashed out at the ANC for not speaking out against Malema.
“Your silence comes from your thirst for power in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro. You dare not speak up because Malema will turn on you again and allow Trollip to stay.
“At what point will you decide to find your voice, ANC, and say he has stepped over the line?
“If you are okay with someone saying they will be cutting people’s throats, how will you react when throats actually do get cut? “McKenzie said.
SIDING WITH DA: Patriotic Alliance leader Gayton Mckenzie.
RED BERET: EFF leader Julius Malema.
MOMENT OF TRUTH: Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip.
NO WAY: PA councillor Marlon Daniels won’t side with EFF.