ANC moots local man Andile Mfunda for mayor in Trollip's place
Andile Mfunda is set to replace Athol Trollip as the new mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay metro - that's if the ANC has its way.
The majority of the 120-member council, which governs the metro including Port Elizabeth, has petitioned the speaker to move a scheduled motion of no confidence in Trollip forward to March 29 from April 6.
Mfunda's rise to the top office will depend on whether the EFF accepts his name. The party has demanded that the ANC put former deputy minister of finance Mcebisi Jonas forward for the position.
Mfunda is a former member of the mayoral committee for finance. He is currently an ANC councillor and is also a local leader of the SACP.
The Sunday Times has reliably learnt that the ANC in the region has decided to propose his name to the party's provincial executive committee.
Mfunda said he was unable to comment as the ANC had not officially informed him of the decision.
"It's the ANC that deploys, so it is the ANC that must comment," he said.
EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee said that the ANC had proposed Mfunda's name to his party.
"We want the ANC to bring in Mcebisi Jonas, who refused a R600-million bribe, or someone who is close to Jonas in character and conduct," Gardee said.
ANC Nelson Mandela Bay region leaders, who spoke with the Sunday Times on condition of anonymity, confirmed the decision.
"For now we are engaging with key leaders to say here is a comrade. This time around we are not going to allow outside interventions, which will lead to us losing the city. They brought us Ben Fihla and Danny [Jordaan]. People complained, why are we electing old people while we have young and capable leaders," one of the leaders said.
Fihla was unceremoniously removed for nonperformance as the metro's mayor in 2015 after serving just two years in the position. The ANC veteran, who also served as an ANC MP, was replaced by soccer boss Danny Jordaan.
An insider said they chose Mfunda because he would be able to deal with housing backlogs and the eradication of informal settlements in the metro.
"He was leading a number of housing projects that have been built here in Nelson Mandela. They have been built under his command when he was responsible for housing. The city was the best performing municipality when you talk about human settlements," he said.
This week a majority of councillors petitioned speaker Jonathan Lawack to convene a special council meeting on March 29 for the removal of Trollip, Lawack, chief whip Werner Senekal and the entire mayoral committee. The petition also calls for the reinstatement of former deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani.