ANC takes Trollip to Public Protector ahead of vote of no confidence

The African National Congress (ANC) says it has lodged five complaints against Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Athol Trollip with Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

The announcement, made on Tuesday, comes as a fourth round of motions of no confidence are tabled against Trollip, in a move by the opposition parties to oust the Democratic Alliance-led coalition government from the City.

READ: Trollip's job on the line, again

Trollip has dismissed the move, saying that the complaints listed by the ANC have all been addressed and answered in council.

"These allegations have all been made before and have been answered, but they don't like the answers," he said.

The five complaints against Trollip are that:

  • Trollip intentionally misled Patriotic Alliance (PA) councillor Marlon Daniels, United Front (UF) councillor Mkhuseli Mtsila and African Independent Congress (AIC) councillor Tshonono Buyeye about offences committed by then deputy mayor, United Democratic Alliance (UDM) councillor, Mongameli Bobani, with the intent of getting Daniels to bring a motion of no confidence in Bobani.
  • Trollip committed an offence under Clause 10 of the code of conduct rules and under Rule 13 of Nelson Mandela Bay's rules of order, in that he had released two confidential reports, commissioned by the municipality, to the DA leadership without consent from the council to do so.
  • Trollip had taken no action against former safety and security executive Director, Linda Mti when he came into office, despite having labelled him as former soccer boss "Danny Jordaan's criminal friend" and laying charges against Mti in the build up to the 2016 local elections.
  • Trollip had shown an unwillingness to prosecute allies and withheld critical information from council. This is in relation to the suspension of Bonni Chan, the head of the municipality's audit department and Werner Wiehart, her deputy. The ANC alleges that the charges that led to their suspension are spurious and a deliberate attempt to silence them after they had pointed out that Municipal Manager Johan Mettler had signed an addendum to a service-level agreement that did not exist.
  • Trollip was slow to act against a DA ward councillor, Trevor Louw, following allegations that Louw had motivated for a sub-contract on a municipal contract, which was to be given to a friend of his. The ANC accused Trollip of being slow to act as Louw was a ward councillor and as such, would result in a three-month delay to replace him through a by-election, which would be detrimental to the coalition.

ANC regional spokesperson Themba Xathula said if the public protector found any of the charges compelling, Trollip should be declared unfit to hold the position.

Vote of no confidence

Trollip is facing another vote of no confidence on Thursday, after the opposition parties, which include the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), ANC, PA, AIC, UF and UDM, called for a motion of no confidence in Trollip, council speaker Jonathan Lawack, and chief whip Werner Senekal.

The parties, which hold 61 seats in the council, announced earlier this month that they would form a coalition to take the metro away from the DA-led coalition.

Key to the opposition coalition securing the full 61 votes, has been the eligibility of ANC councillors Andile Lungisa, and Bongo Nombiba. Both have been convicted and sentenced, but have been released on bail pending their appeals on charges of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and fraud respectively.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Nombiba's application for leave to appeal his fraud conviction and sentence was turned down by the High Court in Grahamstown.
 
Nombiba's attorney, Ntsikelelo Mbewana, has indicated that Nombiba will apply to have his bail extended and petition the Supreme Court of Appeal.

Lungisa's application for leave to appeal his conviction for the assault on DA councillor Rano Kayser and his effective two-year jail sentence, has been granted.

Trollip said he was not concerned about the latest round of motions of no confidence.