'Athol Trollip still mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay' - Eastern Cape DA
"Mr Trollip is still executive mayor," DA Eastern Cape leader Nqaba Bhanga insisted on Monday evening.
He spoke after a council meeting of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality where Athol Trollip's nemesis from the UDM, Mongameli Bobani, was voted in to replace him.
According to Bhanga, there was no meeting, as Municipal Manager Johann Mettler adjourned the meeting earlier.
On Monday morning, the DA coalition's speaker Johnathan Lawack was removed after a motion of no confidence in him was brought. It succeeded with one vote after DA councillor Victor Manyati abstained.
Read more here: Nelson Mandela Bay speaker removed in vote of no confidence
Shortly after this motion, during a break, the DA presented a letter to Mettler, stating that Manyati had been kicked out of the party.
After obtaining a legal opinion, Mettler declared that Manyati, who was by then sitting among ANC councillors and not his DA colleagues, was not a councillor.
Upon this statement, the councillors from the DA and its coalition partners jumped up and danced and proceeded to leave the chamber.
The council would have had to elect a new speaker, after which a motion of no confidence in Trollip would have been heard.
Mettler said the meeting did not have a quorum and could not continue.
Several opposition councillors complained.
The opposition councillors waited until Eastern Cape MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Fikile Xasa sent an official to preside over the meeting.
When the official proceeded with the meeting, after ascertaining that there was a quorum, Buyelwa Mafaya was elected speaker and proceeded with a motion of no confidence in Trollip, brought by the EFF. Every councillor present supported it.
After Trollip was disposed of, Bobani was unanimously elected mayor.
Last year, Bobani was removed as deputy mayor after a motion of no confidence in him was brought, after a fraught relationship between himself and Trollip. The UDM gave him a warning in April, after an alleged altercation with COPE MP Deidre Carter.
After his election, Bobani proceeded to appoint his mayoral committee.
"The opposition councillors were just practising to be in government," Bhanga said. "There was no sitting [on Monday afternoon]."
He said they would continue with business as usual. They will fill the vacancy left by Manyati and then elect a new speaker.
Asked if they would go to court, he said they would use the Constitution if anybody tried to stop them from doing their work.
Trollip survived several attempts to remove him.
In February, after the DA did not support the EFF's motion on expropriation without compensation in the National Assembly, EFF leader Julius Malema said they would oust Trollip to punish the DA and to "cut the throat of whiteness".