DA in NMB returns to opposition benches
“We won. We won. We won‚” Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Mongameli Bobani shouted out in jubilation after a court victory against opposition parties on Thursday.
Judge Elna Revelas dismissed a court application by the Democratic Alliance (DA) and its coalition partners ACDP and Cope‚ who wanted the court to set aside decisions taken at a controversial August 27 council meeting‚ where Athol Trollip was removed as mayor.
After Revelas read out the ruling and order‚ the gallery‚ made up of supporters of the various political parties‚ broke out into song and people ushered the new leadership towards the steps of the court‚ where they were met by more supporters.
Meanwhile‚ Trollip said they would abide by the Port Elizabeth High Court’s decision and would return to the opposition benches‚ fighting corruption like they did before.
Trollip said he believed the judgment was based on a technicality regarding the membership of DA councillor Mbulelo Manyati‚ who “sold us out”.
“It’s quite extraordinary because he said he was leaving the DA and took it a step further and crossed the benches and sat in the benches of the ANC. As far as we’re concerned we’ve seen this treachery before‚ the floor crossing of people who are desperate to get into power‚ get hold of patronage and will do anything to get that‚” Trollip said.
“We made three commitments prior to the election that we would stop corruption‚ improve service delivery and grow the economy. I believe two of those we can still fulfil in the benches of the opposition‚ namely‚ stopping corruption.
“We’ll expose it and secondly we’ll improve service delivery by holding those in power to account.”
Bobani said he joined the hundreds of thousands of residents who rejoiced around the city on Thursday.
“This government is determined to serve the interests of all residents around. We love and like them and they love and like us. We’ve been saying since from the onset‚ as of the 27th of August‚ that there’s nothing wrong that we’ve done‚” he said.
“Everything was done by the book. There was only one guy that was moving around‚ saying he’s the mayor‚ yet that guy is not even occupying City Hall. There’s only one mayor here‚ one speaker here and one chief whip here.
“We’ve known we’ve been legal for some time. Right now they must pay the money of the citizens and we’ll instruct the municipal manager to quickly ensure that we are getting the money of citizens they have wasted.”
PA councillor Marlon Daniels‚ whose party withdrew from the DA’s court application last week‚ said he had not joined the new coalition but he supported it.
“If we are going to join the new coalition going forward‚ it is something that has not yet been discussed between the Patriotic Alliance and the other parties. As the PA‚ we’ve been through a bad patch‚ with the passing of the brother of the deputy president‚ the passing of our president’s mother‚” Daniels said.
“We never had the time to get together to discuss the real way forward of Nelson Mandela Bay‚ as a party.”