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Court ruling expected on rightful Nelson Mandela Bay mayor

Last month, council passed a motion of no confidence in Democratic Alliance mayor, Athol Trollip.

FILE: Democratic Alliance federal chair and Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Athol Trollip at the party's elective congress on 8 April 2018. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

CAPE TOWN - We're likely to find out on Thursday who the real mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay is.

Last month, council passed a motion of no confidence in Democratic Alliance Mayor Athol Trollip. He and the Democratic Alliance took the matter to court. Today, acting Judge Johann Huisamen is expected to make his ruling.

For almost a month, Nelson Mandela Bay residents have been in leadership limbo, wondering who their rightful metro leadership is.

The UDM's Mongameli Bobani is adamant that he is the mayor, arguing that due process was followed during the council vote that saw a vote of no confidence in Trollip pass and Bobani elevated to mayor.

Trollip is equally adamant that he is the rightful mayor.

A key issue is whether DA councillor Mbulelo Manyati’s membership ceased after he abstained during a vote earlier in the day that saw Speaker Jonathan Lawack also being kicked out in a motion of no confidence.

The DA says that he sided with the ANC and subsequently lost his party membership.

Advocate Dali Mpofu, for the UDM, argues it is the right of politicians to walk out of a council meeting but warns that they should face the consequence of that decision.

He also insists that there was a quorum in council when Trollip was booted out.

It's been a big week for local politics, with the DA on Wednesday announcing its candidate for Western Cape premier. Economic Opportunities MEC Alan Winde was named as the candidate.

Winde beat six hopefuls for the party's top job in the province.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said yesterday there was no better man for the job and that Winde's track record of creating jobs and bringing investment to the province, speaks for itself.

Winde says that leadership is about forming teams and partnerships to make the Western Cape a better place to live.

We also heard earlier this week that Dan Plato is set to take over from Patricia De Lille as Cape Town mayor.

He is promising no sudden moves or knee-jerk changes to his Mayco structure. Plato inherits a divided caucus following the DA's bruising battle with De Lille.

He says he's taken many calls from councillors in the caucus, but he's returning to the city with an open mind.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)