DA councillor calls Zweli Mkhize to intervene in NMB

Retief Odendaal says minister needs to put an end to illegal occupation of city hall

DA councillor calls on minister's intervention in NMB

3 September 2018

The DA’s former budget and treasury MMC in Nelson Mandela Bay Retief Odendaal has called on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) minister Zweli Mkhize "to put an immediate end to this illegal occupation of City Hall".

The DA on Friday lodged court papers in Port Elizabeth, asking for an urgent review of what it described as a "coup d'état", when the ANC, EFF and UDM banded together to remove Athol Trollip as the mayor on Monday.

Former deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani of the UDM was elected mayor.

Councillor Odendaal released a statement on Sunday on behalf of the "NMB coalition", claiming that the local ANC, UDM and other smaller parties were giving Mkhize the "middle finger" by not meeting with a delegation from Cogta.

"By choosing not to meet with a delegation from the National Department of Cogta, the illegitimate government in NMB is now more isolated, irrelevant and paranoid than ever," he claimed.

Mkhize has appointed a task team to establish the facts in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Odendaal said: "We support Cogta Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize’s intervention and urge the Minister to put an immediate end to this illegal occupation of City Hall."

He finished by saying the coalition still recognised Athol Trollip as the "real Executive Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay".

"Only the coalition government can take Nelson Mandela Bay forward."

The DA meanwhile contends in its court papers that the procedure to remove Trollip and council speaker Jonathan Lawack wasn't in accordance with the Municipal Structures Act.

City manager Johan Mettler had adjourned the meeting following Lawack's removal, which occured before the motion against Trollip, citing a lack of quorum after the DA caucus walked out.

The appointment therefore of a person designated by the MEC for local government Fikile Xasa, to preside over the election of a new speaker, was not procedural, the DA argued. Mettler was still capable of presiding, as per the municipal structures act.

They have asked for the matter to be dealt with urgently.