Port Elizabeth – Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Athol Trollip and speaker of council Jonathan Lawack both survived votes of no confidence against them during a disruptive and chaotic last council meeting of the year on Thursday.
The motion against Trollip, which was brought by PA councillor Marlon Daniels and seconded by UDM councillor Mongameli Bobani, was only heard in the late afternoon.
After a debate, the motion of no confidence was put to vote, resulting in 65 votes against the motion and 54 votes in favour of having Trollip removed.
After a short break, the motion against Lawack followed in the same vein with 65 votes against and 53 votes in favour of having Lawack removed.
Following the two votes of no confidence, the matter of doing away with the position of deputy mayor, which was brought by chief whip of council Werner Senekal (DA), went the same way, with 65 votes in favour of having the position scrapped and 54 votes against.
The meeting, which began at 10:00 and ran late into the evening, was marred by constant disruptions from councillors of the opposition, who spoke over the speaker, shouted down councillors who were addressing the council and raised irregular points of order.
It was a tense day as every vote was critical after the DA-led coalition government lost its majority in council in August following a debacle surrounding the ousting of former deputy mayor and UDM councillor Bobani.
A hastily formed agreement with the Patriotic Alliance (PA), which was key in ousting Bobani, also collapsed after Trollip refused to put Daniels forward as the new deputy mayor.
All 120 councillors were present in the council chambers at the start of the day on Thursday. However, the ANC suffered a setback when councillor Litho Suka collapsed and had to be taken to hospital.
By 20:00 council was still in session as councillors debated a motion around the evictions in Nelson Mandela Bay, brought by ANC councillor Rory Riordan.