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Trollip suggests NMB municipal manager was sidelined in no-confidence motion

The Democratic Alliance says Johann Mettler was available after he had adjourned proceedings on Monday during a council meeting where Speaker Jonathan Lawack was first ousted.

FILE: The Democratic Alliance's Athol Trollip. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The legality of a power shift in the Nelson Mandela Bay council may hinge on whether or not the municipal manager was available to preside over a motion of no confidence in Athol Trollip.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says Johann Mettler was available after he had adjourned proceedings on Monday during a council meeting where Speaker Jonathan Lawack was first ousted.

Instead, 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, who in turn presided over the motion that saw Trollip being removed.

The DA insists that Mettler should have been contacted before another official was sought to proceed with the council agenda on Monday.

Trollip has suggested Mettler was sidelined because of friction between him and Xasa.

“The MEC is litigating against us and the city manager’s appointment. I want to reinforce that Mr Metler has been appointed by the previous administration. In fact, he was seconded there by Pravin Gordhan. We appointed the city manager according to the law. The MEC is challenging that.”

The MEC's spokesperson, Mamkeli Ngam, says that Xasa acted on information that Mettler was missing.

“The council meeting was at a standstill. The MEC applied his mind and based his intervention on the Municipal Structures Act.”

Mettler has opted not to comment in light of forthcoming court action.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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