Trollip removed so that ANC, UDM, EFF can get hands on metro's money - Maimane

2018-08-28 15:27
Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane during an interview with News24. (Screengrab, file)

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane during an interview with News24. (Screengrab, file)

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DA leader Mmusi Maimane has accused the ANC of trying to get their hands on the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality's financial coffers by removing Athol Trollip as mayor.

The DA announced on Tuesday that it would ask the courts to review the council's decision on Monday to remove Trollip.

"Yesterday [Monday], the people of Nelson Mandela Bay witnessed the newly formed coalition of corruption between the ANC, UDM and EFF banding together to undermine the will of the electorate by unlawfully removing its duly elected DA-led coalition government," Maimane said.

"This was a mock council meeting that elected a mock government, and we are of the view that yesterday's proceedings are invalid in law.

"The motivation for this unscrupulous move is clear: For the ANC, UDM and the EFF to gain unfettered access to public funds in order to fill their own pockets and their party coffers ahead of the 2019 national elections," Maimane said.

"What took place yesterday can only be described as a sham."

READ: New NMB Mayor Bobani arrives at offices, but struggles to get in

Trollip, seated next to Maimane at the Sun Court hotel in Cape Town on Tuesday morning, said: "I do believe I'm still mayor. What transpired yesterday was unlawful."

The UDM's Mongameli Bobani was elected in Trollip's place. Bobani, who was former deputy mayor, was previously ousted from his position following a rift with Trollip.

Earlier, Speaker Jonathan Lawack was removed after 60 councillors supported the motion against him, with 59 against. DA councillor Victor Manyati abstained.

Manyati was summarily dismissed from the DA, and municipal manager Johann Mettler declared that Manyati was not a councillor.

READ: 'Athol Trollip still mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay' - Eastern Cape DA

Following this statement, the councillors from the DA and its coalition partners jumped up and danced, and proceeded to leave the chamber.

Mettler said there was no longer a quorum, so the meeting couldn't continue, and left.

'Want to steal public money to make themselves rich'

The opposition councillors waited on an official sent by the Eastern Cape Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Fikile Xasa.

When the officials arrived, the meeting resumed, without a member of the DA-led coalition in attendance, except for Manyati, who was seated among the ANC councillors by then.

A new speaker, Buyelwa Mafaya, was elected and the motion of no confidence in Trollip took place, after which Bobani was elected.

According to the DA, the "sitting was procedurally invalid and lacked legitimate authority to legally elect a new Speaker, and then subsequently pass the Motion of No Confidence in the Executive Mayor".

It contends that the official presiding over the sitting was in contravention of section 36(3) of the Municipal Structures Act (117 of 1998), which states: "The municipal manager of the municipality or, if the municipal manager is not available, a person designated by the MEC for local government in the province, presides over the election of a speaker."

According to Maimane, Mettler "was both present and not incapacitate to preside over the sitting", yet he was denied his role by Xasa and the person designated by him.

"This is in contravention of the clear requirements of the Municipal Structures Act and therefore renders the election of Buyelwa Mafaya as Speaker, and the subsequent Motion of No Confidence in Athol Trollip, as invalid in law.

"The battle in NMB is between those who want to steal public money to make themselves rich, and those who are committed to ensuring public money is directed to creating work, building houses and roads, and delivering a clean, delivery-oriented government that serves all the people," Maimane said.

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