PA and DA sign pact ahead of Trollip no confidence vote

2018-03-28 16:57
Patriotic Alliance councillor Marlon Daniels. (Paul Herman, News24)

Patriotic Alliance councillor Marlon Daniels. (Paul Herman, News24)

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The Patriotic Alliance (PA) has officially signed coalition and co-governance agreements with the Democratic Alliance in Nelson Mandela Bay ahead of Thursday's council meeting, in which mayor Athol Trollip faces another vote of no confidence.

Addressing the media after the DA's #SaveNMB rally on Vuyisile Mini Square in front of the City Hall, Trollip said the PA's Marlon Daniels signed the agreements. Roughly 2 500 people attended the rally.

In exchange, Trollip said the coalition would appoint Daniels as deputy mayor and as the new Member of the Mayoral Committee for Roads and Transport - a position currently held by DA councillor Rano Kayser.

Trollip said the PA had not formed a coalition with the DA in the past because they were unable to offer Daniels the deputy mayor position and opted to dissolve the post during a council meeting instead.

"There is a motion to bring the position back. If that position is reintroduced into the municipality, Marlon Daniels will occupy that position," said Trollip. 

In a separate press conference, Daniels said that the PA was no one's baby brother. "We are the kingmakers. We won't be pushed around," he said.

Daniels said the PA was insulted by the EFF's comments that they would "throw the PA a bone", adding this is why he turned down an offer for the position of mayor.

He said that, despite his previous criticisms of Trollip, he could tell that he was sincere.

"No one is perfect. We weighed the pros and cons and we chose the DA. It's like running from a lion to a crouching tiger," he said.

He also said the PA didn't feel comfortable returning the metro to the "corrupt" ANC, especially on the back of an "illogical" motion of no confidence based on the colour of Trollip's skin.

Daniels said he had been contacted by the so-called "black caucus", a name given to the coalition of smaller opposition parties, after PA leader Gayton McKenzie declared the party's support for the DA and the coalition ahead of the vote of no confidence.

He said members of the black caucus, including councillors Tshonono Buyeye of the African Independent Congress, Mkhuseli Mtsila of the United Front and Zilindile Vena of the EFF, had visited his house after midnight on Tuesday and offered him the position of mayor if he stood against Trollip.

"We sent them home with their tails between their legs," he said.

Daniels said the most important thing now was to "restore reason" to the city.

Deputy mayor position key to PA support

Earlier during the rally, Trollip told supporters that they had worked with the PA in the past.

"Our newest coalition partner, the Patriotic Alliance - fortunately we have been in government with them. Marlon Daniels was doing well in the department of public health, he remembered that they could work with us to make this city work better.

"They left because they wanted a position that I could not offer them. They wanted the position of deputy mayor and at the time, the position was being contested by [former deputy mayor Mongameli] Bobani. It was being contested in court and I did not want to commit myself to something that I couldn't deliver."

The inclusion of Daniels and the PA into the coalition means it now has 60 of the 120 votes in the council. Since the UDM broke away from the coalition in Nelson Mandela Bay last year, they have been a minority-led coalition government.

"There has been a collaboration of the opposition parties to do whatever they can to prevent this government from delivering on its manifesto," said Trollip.

Trollip said they would not be taking anything for granted going into council on Thursday.

"We are committed to making this government work, and if that means losing our positions and if necessary, crossing the floor and going back to our position as the official opposition, then so be it," he said.

"We are committed to the idea that, regardless of a person's race, colour, creed or religion. We want a city that works for all." 

Read more on:    patriotic alliance  |  da  |  athol trollip  |  port elizabeth

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