Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Marlon Daniels of the Patriotic Alliance has been appointed a member of the mayoral committee (MMC) following a bizarre council sitting, where Daniels and others told the chamber about the alleged death threats they have received.
He made the explosive statement on Wednesday, telling the ANC-led council that a sitting member of the council had allegedly threatened him and his family if he did not approve the budget, which is due to be voted on.
Daniels vowed that the budget, which has to be passed in 11 days, would not get the greenlight on Wednesday and abruptly left the council chambers.
He was one of six councillors who have come forward with information of alleged threats against them and their families, if they did not vote in favour of the budget, including Cope, the United Front (UF) and AIC's sole councillors.
The budget was successfully tabled but did not pass due to Daniel's absence in the closely contested council, failing by 59 votes to 60.
The DA rejected the budget, as did the ACDP and Cope. The EFF, AIC, ANC, UDM and UF supported it.
Daniels new EDTA MMC
Later on Wednesday, Mayor Mongameli Bobani announced that Daniels would become the new MMC for economic development, tourism and agriculture.
To make way for his deployment, the ANC moved incumbent MMC Queenie Pink to the safety and security portfolio, replacing councillor Litho Suka who becomes an ordinary councillor.
This was allegedly part of a negotiation to ensure that the budget would pass on Wednesday, News24 understands.
However, the "plan" collapsed when Daniels walked out, leaving the speaker without a choice but to defer the budget vote to June 21.
The parties are locked in new negotiations to ensure that the budget is passed on Friday.
Some opened cases over threats
The UF's Mkhuseli Mtsila, who is the budget and treasury MMC, said he had spoken to the police about the threats he had received.
"I could not just sit when my life was under threat, I’m hoping an investigation will ensue; but it is the responsibility of the speaker to protect council," he said.
He added that Daniels and the AIC's Tshonono Buyeye, the current deputy mayor, have also spoken to the police.
Speaking to News24, an anonymous source, who is close to the council process, confirmed that the threats were legitimate.
The source said they were privy to knowledge of the source of the threats.
"There is no outside being that can round councillors up with threats on matters of council when they are not part of our collective," said the source.
"The sad thing is that we are here in elements of trust. If we now turn against each other, how we can work together going forward?"
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