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Trollip: I’m still mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay

DA leader Mmusi Maimane has described the move to oust Athol Trollip as a mockery and says it undermines the will of the electorate.

FILE: DA member Athol Trollip delivering a speech during the party's march against unemployment in Johannesburg on 27 January 2016. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG - Athol Trollip insists he remains the Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay.

Trollip was joined by Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane at a media briefing on Tuesday after he was booted from the position in an Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)-sponsored motion of no confidence.

The DA says it will legally challenge the move and file papers in the Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.

The DA says municipal manager and acting Speaker Johann Mettler on Monday adjourned the council meeting following the passing of a vote of no confidence in Speaker Jonathan Lawack.

The DA caucus then left chambers.

However, in their absence, the Eastern Cape Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Fikile Xasa appointed an official to oversee the election of ANC councillor Buyelwa Mafaya as Speaker.

It was under her watch that the motion of no confidence in Trollip was passed.

Trollip says this goes against the Municipal Structures Act, which states the MEC can only appoint someone if the municipal manager is absent.

“We’re going to challenge it in court because we believe the MEC undermined or overrode the responsibility of the city manager and we believe that he overreached.”

Maimane has described the move to oust Trollip as a mockery and says it undermines the will of the electorate.

WATCH: Maimane: Removing Trollip is insulting to the people of NMB

DA FIRES

As the DA is putting out fires in at least two coalition councils, local government experts are warning the instability will impact on governance and service delivery.

While Trollip is out, Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga could be next on Thursday when the council decides on a motion of no confidence in him.

These developments are important politically as the country prepares for next year’s elections, but the instability is costly as it impacts on governance and service delivery.

President at the Institute of Local Government Management Monde Stratu said: “These affect service delivery directly; the man on the street is affected because projects are changed and budgets are changed.”

He says it’s important that national government intervenes, while the African National Congress in Gauteng says the solution is early elections; a suggestion the EFF welcomes but the DA calls a political gimmick.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)