Trollip effectively survives motion of no confidence after meeting permanently adjourned

Athol Trollip. (News24)
Athol Trollip. (News24)

Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Athol Trollip has effectively survived a motion of no confidence after a special council meeting to debate it was permanently adjourned on Tuesday morning.

The meeting only lasted about an hour and a half before a shouting match ensued in council and the meeting collapsed.

Speaker Jonathan Lawack then declared that the meeting was permanently adjourned.

Other motions that had been tabled for Tuesday included:

• To remove DA councillor Jonathan Lawack as speaker of council
• To remove DA councillor Werner Senekal as chief whip
• To rescind the decision of council in November last year, which dissolved the post of deputy mayor
• To vote in a new deputy mayor
• To remove all political heads of municipal portfolios

A majority of councillors was needed to bring a new motion.

The coalition government has had a minority of 59 seats in the 120-seat council since a fallout with the UDM. 

However, it recently secured the Patriotic Alliance (PA) as a coalition partner, taking it back up to 60, and the African Independent Congress has also declared its support for the coalition, giving it a potential majority vote of 61.

The opposition had the option of lobbying DA councillors to sign the petition for a motion.

The previous council meeting on March 29 also descended into chaos before the motion to remove Trollip could come up for debate. 

It was postponed to Tuesday after more than eight hours of bickering and disorderly conduct that led to several adjournments.

But on Tuesday, chaos erupted when the ANC objected to DA councillor Nqaba Bhanga addressing the council.

Bhanga managed to conclude a tribute to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela despite the opposition drowning him out.

ANC councillor Xola Sabani kept on shouting, leading to Lawack issuing a warning.

Opposition councillors verbally attacked Lawack for warning Sabani.

When Lawack said they would proceed with the agenda, EFF councillor Zilindile Vena immediately interjected and said the speaker could not suspend the rules and not listen to points of order.

ALSO READ: Malema - Trollip’s days are numbered

Lawack countered that he had not suspended any rules.

It was not long before the council descended into a shouting match. The ANC's Andile Lungisa said he wanted to raise a point of order and Lawack said he wanted to proceed because time was being wasted.

Mayoral post offer to PA

EFF councillor Vena continued to shout that Lawack was collapsing the meeting.

Lawack replied that it was the councillors who were deliberately trying to collapse the meeting.

Speaking after the second failed sitting, PA councillor Marlon Daniels said he expected the chaos after again being offered the mayoral post upon entering the chamber on Tuesday.

He said he was told by several individuals: "Come and assist us, you are our mayoral candidate. If we remove Trollip today, we will put you in as mayor. Otherwise there will be chaos in this thing if are not going to come with us".

Daniels said the PA was the kingmaker and "nothing is going to happen without us".

At a press conference after the meeting, Trollip said it was "time to call a spade a spade in politics" and that those responsible for the chaos must accept responsibility.

"We were ready to debate the motions today but we are not going to be held to ransom by people who cannot accept democratic outcome."

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