The Patriotic Alliance (PA) has officially withdrawn from the Nelson Mandela Bay coalition after the Democratic Alliance-led municipality failed to put forward the PA's candidate, Marlon Daniels, as the preferred candidate to take over the position of deputy mayor.
Daniels was instrumental in having former councillor and coalition member Mongameli Bobani from the UDM axed from his position, after tabling a motion of no confidence during the last sitting of council in August.
Bobani has subsequently turned to the High Court to have the decision rescinded and for him to be reinstated, but the court struck the matter from the roll on Tuesday, saying it was not urgent.
A motion was also carried that the matter of electing a new deputy mayor would be set down for Thursday's council meeting, however, the matter was not part of the agenda.
Council further failed to sit after the opposition boycotted the meeting, preventing the coalition from making quorum. They needed 61 seats of 120 for the meeting to proceed, but were only able to muster 60, which included Daniels.
Withdrawal with immediate effect
In a strongly worded letter to Mayor Athol Trollip, PA leader Gayton McKenzie said the withdrawal was with immediate effect.
"The agreement reached was very clear, we will only enter into a coalition with the Democratic Alliance when the position of deputy mayor is made available for PA occupancy," wrote McKenzie.
He said the PA had come to the realisation that promises made to the voters by the DA would never be fulfilled.
"It thus leaves the Patriotic Alliance with no choice but to withdraw, as we cannot support a party that that will never deliver on the mandate to service and serve its people and the constituents of Nelson Mandela Bay," he said.
Heated twitter exchange prior to council meeting
Prior to the council meeting, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa tweeted that the PA was holding the DA to ransom in what was "blackmail of the century".
"Blackmail indeed! We won't be blackmailed by anybody or any party," responded Trollip.
To which McKenzie replied, accusing Trollip of being spoilt by "subservient blacks".
"You have been spoilt by the many subservient blacks who have repeatedly asked you as to how high they should jump."
Daniels said it had become clear that the coalition had no intention of putting his name forward for the position of deputy mayor, as he had not signed any document to accept any nomination and neither had he been notified of a nomination.
"We were clear from the beginning that we wanted the safety and security mayoral committee position, as well as that of deputy mayor. Subsequently, we were given the mayoral committee position for public health.
"We were clear in what we wanted, if we do not stand our ground on this point, then this is a dictatorship, not a negotiation," said Daniels.
He said if the PA withdrew from the coalition and Trollip then decided to remove him from the public health committee, he would accept the decision and assume his position as a normal councillor.
"I am a very disciplined cadre of the party," he said.