Nelson Mandela Bay Patriotic Alliance (PA) councillor Marlon Daniels lambasted Mayor Athol Trollip on Friday, accusing him of being a dictator because he did not want the vacant position of deputy mayor to be filled.
This comes after the PA officially withdrew from the DA-led coalition government on Thursday, just three months into it.
The PA threatened to terminate its agreement with the Democratic Alliance (DA) if Daniels was not elected into the deputy mayor position.
In a WhatsApp message on Friday, Daniels claimed that in a meeting held two days ago, Trollip outright said to him that the city did not need a deputy mayor.
He went on to insult Trollip, calling him arrogant and accused remaining coalition partners African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) and Congress of the People (Cope) of rolling over and playing dead.
“In a meeting held 2 days ago in Trollip’s office, attended by myself, DA Provincial leader Nqaba Bhanga, Trollip, Cope’s Councillor [Siyasanga] Sijadu and ACDP’s councillor [Lance] Grootboom, Trollip said that this metro can function without a deputy mayor,” said Daniels.
“He [Trollip] went on to say that this metro only needs a mayor and thereafter MMCs.”
Daniels believes that Trollip wants to “crack the whip” alone and likened Grootboom and Sijadu to puppets who were being manipulated.
“How can one even in your most drunken state agree that a mayor is all this metro needs? Why try and convince others that we do not need anyone to escalate himself above others in the form of a Deputy Mayor, yet you as the Mayor wants to reign supreme?” asked Daniels.
Meanwhile, Mayoral Chief of Staff, Kristoff Adelbert, said that council was not required to elect a deputy mayor.
“Neither the City of Johannesburg nor the City of Tshwane have deputy mayors,” said Adelbert.
“Any change or appointment of a position on the executive must be agreed to by all coalition partners. There was no time for this prior to yesterday’s council.”
With the latest developments in Nelson Mandela Bay politics, the DA-led coalition is back to 59 council seats against a combined opposition of 61 seats, should the United Democratic Movement (UDM) remain with the opposition.
At present the coalition government cannot pass motions unless it has support from at least two opposition parities.
Thursday’s council meeting had to be adjourned as it had no quorum after opposition parties boycotted the sitting.
The African National Congress, Economic Freedom Fighters, AIC ,United Front and UDM all failed to pitch.
– African News Agency (ANA)