Athol Trollip, the embattled mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay, has survived another threatened vote of no confidence. For a second time in two weeks, a planned vote of no confidence did not take place because opposition councillors prevented a formal vote on the motion.
Trollip, who was at the weekend re-elected Democratic Alliance federal chairperson, which is effectively number two in the national official opposition to party leader Mmusi Maimane, looks set to continue to lead the council – for the foreseeable future.
The DA Speaker of the Nelson Mandela Bay council, Jonathan Lawack, opted to postpone the vote of no confidence after he deemed it impossible to proceed with the meeting on Tuesday morning. He postponed it indefinitely.
At a press conference after the meeting was adjourned, Trollip said: “We really now to start calling a spade a spade in politics in South Africa….those responsible for chaos must accept the responsibility for causing chaos. Those who conduct themselves properly will start gaining respect of the people of this country.
“We were ready for the debate… we were ready to debate the motion today. We are not going to be held to ransom by those who don’t respect democratic outcomes,” said Trollip at the press conference.
He referred to the conduct of certain councillors – who brought the council to a standstill – as behaving disgracefully.
A meeting to debate a vote of no confidence in March was adjourned in a similar fashion – after opposition politicians led by the Economic Freedom Fighters disrupted the meeting. Trollip survived a vote of no confidence last November – with the help of the EFF.
It has now turned against him – although other opposition parties like the AIC and the Patriotic Alliance have shifted over to the DA side. Cope and the ACDP have supported the DA-led coalition in the city, which includes Port Elizabeth.