Posts Tagged ‘Nelson Mandela Bay’

Legal opinion confirms ‘removal’ of Mayor Trollip unlawful and invalid

August 28, 2018

A legal opinion obtained by Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) City Manager, Johan Mettler, on the removal of the Nelson Mandela Bay Speaker, Jonathan Lawack, and Mayor Athol Trollip has confirmed that it was “unlawful, invalid, and capable of being set aside”.

The DA has already committed to taking the council’s decision on review as we believe that the process to appoint the new Speaker was procedurally invalid and therefore, that the “removal” of Mayor Trollip was also invalid.

Section 36(3) of the Municipal Structures Act (117 of 1998) states that:

“The municipal manager of the municipality or, if the municipal manager is not available, a person designated by the MEC for local government in the province, presides over the election of a speaker”

After Speaker Jonathan Lawack was removed, the Municipal Manager, Johann Mettler, adjourned the council sitting as quorum had been broken. Eastern Cape MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Fikile Xasa, then incorrectly invoked Section 36(3) and designated an individual to preside over two decisions:

1. The election of ANC Councillor, Buyelwa Mafaya, as Speaker; and
2. The Motion of No Confidence in Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip.

This was despite the Municipal Manager being both present and able to preside over the sitting. This is in clear contravention of the Municipal Structures Act. Therefore, the election of Buyelwa Mafaya as Speaker, and the subsequent Motion of No Confidence in Athol Trollip as invalid.

The legal opinion confirms our view. Specifically, it states that:

“Having regard to the factual circumstances that prevailed, it can never be said that the Municipal Manager was not available.”

The opinion goes on to state that the Municipal Manager was “physically available and accordingly, the appointment of such other person to chair the election of a Speaker was unlawful and invalid with the concomitant result that the appointment of a Speaker and the subsequent appointment of a new Mayor are similarly unlawful, invalid and capable of being reviewed and set aside”

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The DA will not tolerate corruption

August 29, 2017

The DA welcomes the apparent commitment from the Leader of the United Democratic Movement (UDM), Bantu Holomisa, that the UDM will remain in the Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) coalition.

We are however concerned with his intention to approach a court to reverse the removal of Mr Bobani as Deputy Mayor.

One of the main purposes of forming coalition governments, in NMB and elsewhere, was to make a distinct break from the previous ANC administrations, which were riddled with corruption and maladministration.

Our primary responsibility in government must, therefore, be to expose corruption where it exists and to root it out completely from the governments we, in coalition with others, run.

This is what we were elected for and it is a duty we take seriously.

The DA cannot and will not be indecisive in dealing with those who put their own interest above those of the residents of NMB. When we say we have a “zero tolerance” approach to corruption, we mean it, and we cannot have someone in our government who is ambivalent about corruption.

It is also impossible to have a coalition partner who regularly votes with the ANC to slow down service delivery, which Mr Bobani has done on numerous occasions.

This is in contravention of the co-government agreement, and the agreement places a duty on the party leadership to deal with these situations. Despite numerous requests over a period of nine months, Mr Holomisa has refused to do so.

The DA does not wish to end the coalition agreement with the UDM. There are many fine men and women in that organisation who, like us, are committed to eradicating corruption and delivering services efficiently to all the people of NMB.

But we simply will not work with one individual whose personal conduct is at odds with our agreement and commitment to zero tolerance of corruption. It is for that reason – and that reason only – that the DA voted to remove Mr Bobani as the Deputy Mayor.

We, therefore, urge Mr Holomisa to not waste any further time, to put the interests of the residents of the Metro first and to nominate a new UDM councillor to take Mr Bobani’s place in the government.