16/03/2018 06:11 SAST | Updated 16/03/2018 06:12 SAST

Opposition Parties Gear Up To End DA-Led Coalition In Nelson Mandela Bay

Several notices for motions of no confidence were filed on Wednesday.

South African main opposition party Democratic Alliance supporters of mayoral candidate for Nelson Mandela Bay municipality, Athol Trollip (not in picture), cheer during a rally outside the Mayor's office on April 14, 2016 in Port Elizabeth.

Opposition parties in the Nelson Mandela Bay council are gearing up to remove the entire mayoral committee, which could see a possible end to the DA-led coalition that was formed in the metro during the local government elections in 2016.

Several notices for motions of no confidence were filed on Wednesday.

The notices intend to remove the mayoral committee, including Mayor Athol Trollip, council speaker Jonathan Lawack, and chief whip Werner Senekel.

United Front councillor Mkhuseli Mtsila, seconded by the ANC's Mbulelo Gidane, also filed a motion to reinstate Trollip's rival and former deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani (UDM), who was fired last year. The deputy mayoral position remains vacant.

The motion states that the absence of a deputy mayor will hamper service delivery if the mayor is unavailable to exercise his duties.

All the motions will be heard on March 29, the notices read. In the motion against the speaker, AIC councillor Tshonono Buyeye writes that Lawack failed in his fiduciary and statutory duties by not enforcing council rules, and had shown favour to the DA.

"In this regard, the majority of councillors have lost confidence in the speaker."

Patriotic Alliance councillor Marlon Daniels has moved to dissolve the mayoral committee, seconded by Buyeye, saying that it had dismally failed to make progress and reasonable changes to service delivery in the poor areas of the city.

Last month, EFF leader Julius Malema promised that the party would table a motion of no confidence in Trollip as "punishment" for the DA's stance on land expropriation without compensation.

Malema however, said the two other DA-governed Gauteng metros, Johannesburg and Tshwane, were safe for now.

MICHAEL SHEEHAN via Getty Images
Athol Trollip, Nelson Mandela Bay.

Cracks in coalition

In a move that may have sealed his fate with the EFF, Trollip wrote an open letter to Malema, accusing him of using the motion to pay penance to the ANC and gain its favour.

"This looks much like a peace penance and perhaps the path back into the party fold that you once swore never to leave," Trollip wrote.

In his support for the ANC to take over the city, Malema had earlier proposed that the ANC nominate former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas for Trollip's position.

During a media briefing at Luthuli House on Wednesday, ANC secretary general Ace Magashule told journalists that the ANC leadership would travel to the Eastern Cape to discuss matters related to an appeal against the elected PEC.

News24 understands that the delegation will also meet with the PEC to discuss Trollip's successor.

As it stands, the DA will have 59 votes, along with its remaining coalition partners - the ACDP and Cope - come April 6, when the EFF is scheduled to table its motion.

The EFF and its likely partners - the ANC, United Democratic Movement (UDM), African Independent Congress and Patriotic Alliance (PA) - will have 61 votes, which would send Trollip packing.

Last year, Trollip was saved by the EFF when a motion of no confidence in him was tabled by the PA, seconded by ousted deputy mayor and Trollip's nemesis, Bobani.

Cracks in the DA-led coalition started to show shortly after the August 2016 elections, with Bobani and Trollip fighting over the administration of the municipality.

Trollip later fired Bobani as his deputy.