ANC ‘confident’ all its councillors will vote for Danny Jordaan

2015-05-28 08:36
Port Elizabeth mayor and Safa president Danny Jordaan during a press conference at Safa offices in Johannesburg. Picture: Muntu

Port Elizabeth mayor and Safa president Danny Jordaan during a press conference at Safa offices in Johannesburg. Picture: Muntu Vilakazi

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The ANC and opposition parties at the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro held back-to-back separate press conferences yesterday on the appointment of South African Football Association boss Danny Jordaan as mayor of the troubled city.

The appointment of Jordaan, which is expected to take place on Thursday, has been marred by controversy since the ANC announced last week that he was their preferred choice as mayoral candidate.

At the separate media conferences, all opposition parties, led by the Democratic Alliance announced that they would not take part in today's  special council meeting, while the ANC led by members of the national executive committee, including national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa, said everything was in place to elect Jordaan as mayor.

The press conference by opposition parties was attended by representatives of the Congress of the People (Cope), and the United Democratic Movement (UDM). It was held at the DA’s constituency offices at 2.15pm, as scheduled, while the ANC press conference took place at Standard House in Govan Mbeki Avenue. It was scheduled for 3pm, but was delayed by several minutes because ANC leaders were caucusing behind closed doors to ensure all goes well.

Members of the DA and other opposition parties at a press conference on the appointment of Danny Jordaan as mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay Metro. Picture: Theo Jeptha/Foto24

The ANC brought in their big guns to make sure things go smoothly at the special council meeting, which will be held in Motherwell.

The special council meeting is under threat of collapse because some ANC councillors and leaders are planning to sabotage it by depriving the ANC of a majority.

The council has 120 councillors. The ANC currently has 62, while all opposition parties put together have 57.

But yesterday the ANC was very confident nothing would derail their plan to install Jordaan as new city mayor.

Zizi Kodwa, who is the leader of the national executive committee deployees in the province and is also the ruling party’s national spokesperson, said they expected all ANC councillors to attend and vote for Jordaan as their mayor.

“We are fearless. We are confident that all ANC councillors will attend the council meeting and vote comrade Danny as new mayor. They are ready for the task. If opposition parties don’t attend, that is their problem,” Kodwa said.

Some of the  national executive committee members present at the ANC caucus meeting included Water Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula and Cooperative Governance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Also present was the regional task team leader Charles Nqakula, and mayoral candidate Jordaan himself.

At the ANC press conference (from left to right): Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, regional task team leader Charles Nqakula, ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa, and ANC Mpumalanga secretary Oscar Mabuyane. Picture: Theo Jeptha/Foto24

The press conference of the ANC was called at the eleventh hour, and seemed to be done in retaliation to the one called by opposition parties.

Retief Odendaal, DA caucus leader, said: “We have been approached by numerous councillors who have indicated their extreme unhappiness at the current changes within the ANC local structures and who are prepared to go so far as to support a DA candidate for the position of mayor,” he said.

But he said the DA could not risk “an unstable government for the people of Nelson Mandela Bay”.

The right way to win governance, he said, was at the ballot box, and that was what the DA was set on doing in 2016.

Odendaal said the DA had put forward a mayoral candidate in Athol Trollip, whom the people will have the opportunity to elect.

“We will never impose a parachuted mayor who will only serve the people part-time,” he added.

“As a result, the DA, with the support of a combined opposition, have taken a principled decision not to attend the council meeting today, when the ANC hope to formally install Jordaan as mayor,” said Odendaal.

He said the opposition would collectively stay away from the council meeting.

UDM leader at the metro, Mongameli Bobani, shared Odendaal’s sentiments.

“We won’t be part of ANC celebrations. That council meeting is not even properly constituted because the speaker only informed us about it yesterday by text message,” Bobani said.

He said there was no way that Jordaan could be a full-time mayor due to his other responsibilities at the South African Football Association.

About the council meeting, Bobani said there would not be a quorum because some ANC councillors would also not attend.

Khwezi Ntshanyane, Cope leader at the metro, said it was impossible for Jordaan to bring change to the metro because he would be mayor for just 10 months before the local government elections.

Read more on:    danny jordaan  |  nelson mandela bay  |  anc
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