Mandela Bay on knife-edge over positions
A DEADLOCK on the hiring and firing of two municipal executives has put the DA-led coalition governing the Eastern Cape’s biggest metro of Nelson Mandela Bay on a knife-edge.
This comes barely four months into its five-year term.
Yesterday, cracks began to show between the coalition partners after the UDM and other smaller opposition political parties apparently staged a walkout during the first council meeting in Port Elizabeth.
This spurred the ANC regional structure to issue an invite to brief the media on the “collapse of the coalition government”.
DA mayor Athol Trollip told The Star that the council meeting was called to table two reports on the termination of services of corporate services boss Mod Ndoyana, and the appointment of reputed administrator and businesswoman Vuyo Zitumane to act in the position.
The meeting couldn’t proceed as the smaller opposition parties failed to pitch up, according to Trollip.
Trollip’s deputy, Mongameli Bobani, of the United Democratic Movement (UDM), said they disagreed with processes followed to appoint city manager Johann Mettler and Zitumane.
He said their disagreements did not signal the end of the coalition government, saying they needed to find each other.
“The UDM will not support anything that has corruption… We are a party that is transparent, that is accessible and that is corruption-free,” Bobani added.
Trollip said the coalition government remained committed to its offer of “good governance, growing our economy to create jobs and to stop corruption”.
He said council records showed Bobani supported Mettler’s appointment in council and there was no opposition to his appointment.
“Coalition governments are not always the easiest governments. We will have differences from time to time but we will always resolve them,” Trollip insisted.
When rumours surfaced that the mayor and his deputy butted heads over key decisions, Trollip said both of them had denied it.