Embattled Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Athol Trollip has just received another boost in his bid to survive a motion of no confidence in his leadership, as the African Independent Congress (AIC) has switched sides too.
AIC president Mandla Galo confirmed to News24 on Wednesday evening that the party has instructed its sole councillor in the metro to vote with the DA on the motion against Trollip.
The shift in vote now takes the likely outcome in the 120-seat council to 61-59 in favour of keeping Trollip, all things being equal.
Galo said the party currently has an agreement with the ANC, signed in April last year, to incorporate the Matatiele municipality into the KwaZulu-Natal province, rather than its current location in the Eastern Cape.
The party's main mandate since being voted into the fifth Parliament in 2014, was to secure incorporation into KZN.
Since April however, his party has been increasingly frustrated with the slow progress in that regard.
"Recently we were highly perturbed by a statement of the Eastern Cape ANC that they would not allow the municipality of Matatiele to be incorporated into KZN," he said.
He said the provincial ANC was going against a national agreement, labelling it "arrogance" to deny what he termed the "will of the people" in the region.
More ANC metros under threat
"Why is Luthuli House failing to give orders to the Eastern Cape?" he said.
"We are saying that we need to teach the ANC a lesson to say that if they don't agree to our coalition agreement, then that is going to happen tomorrow. We have instructed our councillor to vote with the DA."
They had initially considered abstaining, but determined it would have no impact.
Galo said they ultimately want the ANC to stick to their agreement and thus had further warnings for the ruling party down the line.
"Come end of May 2018, if the people of Matatiele are not incorporated into KwaZulu-Natal, as is their will, we are going to pull out of [the] Ekurhuleni and Rustenburg [metros].
"The ANC will lose there then. As AIC, there is nothing that we are going to lose."
'We all human beings, colour has no meaning'
As for the Economic Freedom Fighters' reasoning for tabling the motion against Trollip, to punish the DA's "white mayor", he said the party could not subscribe to such blatant racial motivations.
"As African Independent Congress, we don't identify people in terms of colour.
"We believe we are all human beings, and we are creations of the Almighty, which means colour has no meaning as far as we are concerned."
They just wanted to get along with all races and for Parliament to improve its discourse on racism.
Something was wrong with the human race that it continues to see itself different from others based on race, he added.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Patriotic Alliance also signed a coalition deal with the DA on Tuesday evening to vote with the party. PA councillor Marlon Daniels will become deputy mayor, if successful.
The special council will sit from 08:00 on Thursday.