ANALYSIS | Busy holiday due for NMB's politicians as new govt, mayor expected in January

2019-12-07 07:01
Mongameli Bobani. (Photo: Lulama Zenzile)

Mongameli Bobani. (Photo: Lulama Zenzile)

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It seems that the political power brokers of Port Elizabeth will not have much rest over the festive season.

After the controversial Mongameli Bobani of the UDM was removed as mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality on Thursday, Deputy Mayor Thsonono Buyeye of the AIC is now the acting executive mayor. He will be in this position until the next council meeting, expected in mid-January when a new coalition government is expected to be formed.

Between now and then there are several permutations at play as no party has an outright majority in the council.

The DA has 57 of the council's 120 seats. The ANC has 50, and EFF six. The UDM has two, while Cope, the ACDP, PA, AIC and United Front have one each.

After the 2016 election, the DA governed the municipality in coalition with the UDM, Cope, ACDP and, at times, the PA. It also had an agreement that the EFF would support their mayor who was Athol Trollip.

However, relations with the UDM soured, culminating with Bobani's removal as deputy mayor through a motion of no confidence after allegations of corruption, which he and the UDM have denied.

The PA also proved to be an unreliable coalition partner.

In February 2018, EFF leader Julius Malema infamously said he was going to "cut the throat of whiteness" by removing Trollip as mayor after the DA did not support the EFF's motion in the National Assembly to amend the Constitution to allow expropriation without compensation.

After failed attempts to remove Trollip, the EFF, ANC and UDM finally succeeded in removing him in August 2018 in a dramatic council meeting.

The ANC, UDM, AIC and United Front formed a minority coalition government, governing with the EFF's support.

However, as allegations against Bobani mounted, by Thursday only the UDM voted against the motion of no confidence in him, giving rise to the rather unusual situation of the DA and ANC voting together.

As things stand, the likeliest scenario is that the DA can bank on the support of the ACDP and Cope, and the ANC on the AIC and United Front. This would give neither the DA-led nor the ANC-led coalitions an outright majority.

With the UDM probably out in the cold, unless Bobani is removed, it leaves the PA and EFF as kingmakers.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  udm  |  julius malema  |  mongameli bobani  |  port elizabeth  |  politics

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