NMB ‘coalition still in tact’ – DA and UDM
Avuyile Mngxitama-Diko | 2017-01-26 13:53:53.0
Nelson Mandela Bay mayor, Athol Trollip. Photo file.
Image by: Simphiwe Nkwali/ © Sunday Times.
The UDM and DA have moved to allay fears that the coalition government in Nelson Mandela Bay is collapsing after the parties butted heads over three crucial agenda items.
A stand-off between mayor Athol Trollip (DA) and his deputy Mongameli Bobani (UDM) saw the UDM marching out of a joint caucus meeting this morning and failing to pitch for the full council meeting.
The opposition parties – ANC‚ EFF‚ AIC‚ Patriotic Alliance and United Front– marched out of the meeting leaving the DA‚ COPE and ACDP without a quorum to continue.
They needed the UDM’s two seats to be able to have a quorum.
After the meeting was officially called off‚ Bobani turned up to address the media‚ saying he and fellow UDM councillor Thoko Tshangela decided not to attend the council meeting because they disagreed with Trollip.
“The UDM raised three issues with the mayor. The illegal appointment of Vuyo Zitumane as acting executive director for corporate services. We indicated that this municipality is not in compliance with the [law] on her appointment‚” Bobani said.
“The expulsion of Mod Ndoyana‚ the executive director of corporate services. We are saying the city manager does not have a right to fire Section 56 managers. It is only the council that is supposed to fire.
“We want city manager Johann Mettler to immediately go now that the MEC [of Cooperative Governance Fikile Xasa] did not concur with his appointment. There are many capable people who can act as city manager until we find a replacement‚” Bobani said.
When Mettler was appointed by the council‚ Bobani‚ with Trollip‚ said the decision was unanimous that he be the next city boss.
Bobani also served on the recruitment panel which shortlisted and interviewed candidates for the job.
Bobani said the coalition was still in tact.
“This is not a crack of coalition. I am still the deputy mayor and Athol is still the mayor. It is a difference of opinion. The coalition is still there. We will have meetings up until our national leadership decide otherwise‚” Bobani said. Trollip‚ who said he was rushing to a meeting and could thus not hold a media conference‚ said there was a difference in opinion with some of their coalition partners.
“We will negotiate on that‚ we will deal with it.
“It is premature for me to discuss the issues in the media of what the dynamics are. We’ll discuss the issues once we have sorted them out‚” Trollip said.
The ANC has added its voice‚ saying they were not surprised by the UDM’s falling out with the DA.
“The body language of the coalition could tell you that there was a problem within and this is a climax of what has been brewing inside the coalition‚” ANC whip Litho Suka said.
The ANC said they decided to walk out of the meeting because they were not happy with the council agenda.
– TMG Digital/The Herald