Mbulelo Manyati a recognised councillor - IEC declares

2018-09-26 20:52
Mbulelo Manyati. (Nosipiwo Manona, Correspondent)

Mbulelo Manyati. (Nosipiwo Manona, Correspondent)

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The Electoral Commission (IEC) has declared that embattled DA member Mbulelo Manyati is a recognised councillor in Nelson Mandela Bay.

News24 is in possession of a letter from the IEC which declares this.

The declaration comes a day after a scuffle broke out during a council meeting on Tuesday after speaker Buyelwa Mafaya ruled that there was an illegal councillor in the chamber.

Manyati was kicked out of the DA after choosing to abstain from a vote of no confidence last month that led to the ousting of Athol Trollip and Jonathan Lawack as executive mayor and speaker respectively.

WATCH: Scuffle in Nelson Mandela Bay council after 'new' councillor's presence ruled illegal

"New" DA councillor Lutho Sokudela had been sworn in last month to replace Manyati.

However, the Eastern Cape High Court ruled on September 20 that Manyati was still a councillor until he chose to resign or until the DA concluded disciplinary measures against him.

In the IEC's letter, dated September 26, the commission confirmed that Manyati was still a recognised councillor. 

"Please be advised that as prescribed in Item 18 of Schedule 1 of the Municipal Structures Act, 1998 (Act. No. 117 of 1998), that Victor Mbulelo Manyati… being the candidate at the top of the party list for the Democratic Alliance (DA) has been declared elected to Nelson Mandela Metropolitan.

"Councillor Manyati replaces Lutho Sokudela… who ceased to hold office of councillor in the municipality," the letter stated.

IEC regional supervisor Crosby Bacela confirmed Sokudela's removal.

READ MORE: Bobani in, Trollip out after Nelson Mandela Bay motion of no confidence succeeds

"It is true, Lutho Sokudela has been removed as DA councillor in the Nelson Mandela Bay council. He has been replaced with Mbulelo Manyati," he said.

During the council meeting on Tuesday, City manager Johan Mettler read out the court's judgment in the matter, which meant that Sokudela was therefore "illegally" in council.

The DA caucus objected to it and chief whip Werner Senekal said Manyati was no longer a member of the party, by their rules.

News24 understands that a scuffle ensued after metro police attempted to remove Sokudela.

The special council meeting was expected to deal with the possible suspension of Mettler.

However, the disruptions around Sokudela's right to be in council led to the early collapse of the meeting.

DA councillors formed a wall around Sokudela's seat to shield him from municipality security.

All attempts to calm the violence failed and the meeting was postponed to Thursday.

This latest development will set the tone for the continuation of the postponed meeting.

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Read more on:    da  |  iec

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