NMB mayor, deputy in renewed spat

2017-05-23 21:36
Athol Trollip (File, Netwerk24)

Athol Trollip (File, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - A week after DA leader Mmusi Maimane announced he was in talks with opposition parties to form a 2019 coalition, the party’s relationship with the UDM in Nelson Mandela Bay hangs in the balance.

On Tuesday, NMB deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani was asked to leave a council meeting after he accused mayor Athol Trollip of being dishonest. Trollip had tabled the sale of land at Wells Estate. Opposition parties, including those within the coalition, objected.

Speaker Jonathan Lawack asked Bobani to leave the chamber.

Maimane demanded that the UDM act against Bobani for his unbecoming behaviour.

“In almost every way possible, Bobani has acted to undermine the coalition government in NMB, and his behaviour today requires that stern action must be taken against him," Maimane said.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said Maimane should refer his complaints to a committee set up to deal with the dispute between Trollip and Bobani, instead of going to the media. We can’t just jump when he says jump. He (Maimane) is out of order."

He said the UDM would ask Bobani to respond to the statement.

Holomisa said the UDM would not play second fiddle to the DA and would not endorse everything the DA tabled without consultation.

"Must we just carry directives from them? Why don't they talk about it before? Why would they expect the UDM to just rubber stamp things."

2019 coalitions

Tension between Trollip and Bobani on staff appointments and governance had caused serious headaches for Maimane. Party leaders had twice summoned both men to Cape Town. Interventions by Holomisa and Maimane had proved fruitless.

On Monday evening, the DA withdrew an ultimatum to the UDM for it to remove Bobani as deputy mayor. Trollip had earlier rescinded his decision, taken last Tuesday, to remove Bobani from his position as health MMC. At the time, Trollip said Bobani’s public behaviour and conduct as an MMC had been unacceptable and inconsistent with what was expected of a deputy mayor.

Both parties resolved to make peace and form a small committee of members of each party in the coalition to discuss their problems.

Last week, Maimane he told journalists he was already in talks with opposition parties to form a coalition in 2019.

“If our chances of winning the 2019 election can be maximised with a pre-election coalition agreement, then this is something that we need to consider,” he said.

Holomisa, however, denied having any talks with Maimane on a possible coalition in 2019. It was too early to start discussing 2019 national elections and that he would rather focus on issues affecting the already existing coalition, he told News24.

Maimane said coalitions and political realignments played a vital role in preserving democracy.

Read more on:    udm  |  da  |  mmusi maimane  |  mongameli bobani  |  bantu holomisa  |  athol trollip  |  port elizabeth

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