Trollip predicts ANC-UDM govt's demise in Nelson Mandela Bay

The ANC-UDM government in Nelson Mandela Bay won't make it to the local government elections in 2021, ousted DA mayor of the metro Athol Trollip predicted on Monday.

He was briefing journalists at a meeting organised by the Cape Town Press Club and shed some light on the "historic" campaign to remove the ANC from the Nelson Mandelal Bay government in the 2016 local government elections, the forming of a coalition in the aftermath of the polls and the events leading to the council chamber drama on August 27 that resulted in him being replaced by his nemesis, the UDM's Mongameli Bobani.

"If you give someone enough rope, they'll hang themselves," he said, adding that the ANC would tear itself apart and that it would become apparent to voters that the party was "more vulnerable than ever".

Trollip's relationship with Bobani, initially the coalition government's deputy mayor, quickly soured. According to Trollip, Bobani insisted that an attorney should be paid 10% commission – R1.8m – in connection with a controversial contract. Trollip refused.  

"From that day, councillor Bobani started voting against us in council. He started taking the side of every person who [had been] disciplined, he started representing people who have been suspended, he started overtly going against decisions of the coalition, having the most extraordinary outbursts in council and in mayoral committees and it became clear that councillor Bobani wanted to be part of a government that operated differently," Trollip said.

Bobani accused Trollip of having a "baas" mentality. 

'Frosty' relationship with Holomisa

According to Trollip, Bobani was backed by UDM leader Bantu Holomisa every step of the way, except when Holomisa reprimanded him in a public letter after he allegedly assaulted Cope MP Deidre Carter.

Trollip showed a thick wad of A4 folios in a red folder – the correspondence documenting complaints about Bobani he sent to Holomisa.

Trollip said he had a "frosty" relationship with Holomisa and it would only get frostier.

"Bantu Holomisa and I are on a collision course."

The coalition removed Bobani as deputy mayor in a vote of no confidence.

Trollip recalled the "helter-skelter" negotiations that led to the coalition after the 2016 elections and said perhaps two weeks was not enough time to form proper coalition agreements.

Trollip was quite impressed with EFF leader Julius Malema during these negotiations, even though he described him as "very arrogant, very demanding, posturing that he was in control".

"But he also stuck to his word," he said. 

In the end, it was Malema – or the commander-in-chief, as the EFF calls him – who engineered Trollip's demise.

'We will expose the EFF for who they are'

After the DA opted not to support the EFF's motion in the National Assembly to amend the Constitution to allow for expropriation without compensation in February this year, Malema vowed that the DA would be punished and that his party would remove Trollip as mayor to "cut the throat of whiteness". 

Trollip said at first the DA in Nelson Mandela Bay had a good relationship with the EFF in the metro, but this also went south after Malema's "whiteness" remark.

Asked how the EFF should be dealt with as a party that wields power disproportionate to its electoral support, Trollip said: "We'll deal with the EFF in the polls and expose them for who they are.

"Their only constant thing is their inconsistency," he said. "We're going to have a very strong campaign exposing the EFF."

Despite what happened in Nelson Mandela Bay, Trollip still believes in coalitions.

He also lauded the DA's coalition partners the ACDP and Cope.

Trollip didn't make himself available for a return to the National Assembly or Eastern Cape legislature after next year's elections.

He wants to be mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay and complete the project he started in 2016. 

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