DA axes Nelson Mandela Bay councillor after speaker's ousting

The Democratic Alliance has taken quick action against a Nelson Mandela Bay councillor, who abstained during a motion of no confidence on Monday that saw Speaker Jonathan Lawack removed from his position.

DA councillor Victor Manyati opted not to toe the party line during a motion of no confidence in Lawack in the City council on Monday.

Lawack was voted out by 60 votes to 59. A tie would have seen him remain in the position.

Soon after, the DA presented a letter to Municipal Manager Johann Mettler, stating that Manyati was no longer a DA member.

After obtaining a legal opinion, Mettler declared that Manyati, who was by then sitting among ANC councillors and not his DA colleagues, was no longer a councillor.

With this statement, DA councillors and the party's 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.

READ: Nelson Mandela Bay speaker removed in vote of no confidence

Mettler said the meeting didn't have a quorum and couldn't continue.

Several opposition councillors complained.

The move would likely scupper any attempts to remove Mayor Athol Trollip as well, with the DA now able to replace the vacant seat in the council.

Earlier, Manyathi told reporters he took a "sober decision" not to vote with the DA. When a reporter asked him if he was going to leave the DA, he said yes.

"I'm leaving the DA," he said.

After Mettler's announcement, Manyathi told him in the meeting: "You cannot allow a kangaroo court."

"I did not say I'm going to resign," he said. "As far as I'm concerned I'm still a councillor."

Opposition councillors applauded.

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