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Nelson Mandela Bay council meeting goes ahead despite threat of court action

Democratic Alliance (DA) supporters dancing at the Feathermarket Hall in NMB ahead of Athol Trollip's inauguration. Picture Credit: @Our_DA on Twitter
Democratic Alliance (DA) supporters dancing at the Feathermarket Hall in NMB ahead of Athol Trollip's inauguration. Picture Credit: @Our_DA on Twitter

The Nelson Mandela Bay council meeting is going ahead despite a threat of court action allegedly from the African National Congress (ANC).

Nelson Mandela Bay’s acting city boss Johann Mettler received a letter from lawyers representing the ANC on Thursday morning‚ urging him to postpone the 10am council meeting that is set to usher in a new government.

Mettler confirmed that he received the letter on Thursday morning‚ in which the ANC’s claimed to be dissatisfied with the allocation of proportional representation seats.

He said the letter stated that should the council meeting proceed‚ the ANC would turn to the courts to obtain an interdict to prevent the meeting from going ahead.

“I have instructed our attorney to respond to their attorney. Legally‚ there is no urgency on the matter that they have raised.

“You can only obtain an interdict if the matter is urgent.

“I can assure you that the council meeting is going ahead at 10am. Nothing is going to stop it from taking place‚” Mettler said.

The DA is however going ahead with the inauguration at the Feathermarket Market Hall in Nelson Mandela Bay where Athol Trollip will officially be installed as the new mayor.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane tweeted that it is about time the ANC accepts "the will of the people".

"At the NMB council meeting today. Already the AnC [ANC] has tried to interdict the meeting today, are they going to accept the will of the people?," he tweeted.

Barnabas Xulu of Banarbas Xulu and Partners confirmed that he sent the letter to the municipality on behalf of the ANC in Nelson Mandela by.

“I can confirm I sent the letter. I got a firm instruction from the ANC in Nelson Mandela Bay‚ because that is the affected ANC‚” Xulu said.

Asked who in the ANC in the Bay gave him an instruction. Xulu said: “I am not going to identify the individual‚ but I was instructed by the ANC there.”

He said they gave the city until 9am to respond to the interdict.

“The decision to hold a council meeting we challenged. We have given the matter until 9am today‚ I am not in a position to say we are proceeding or not‚ we are waiting for their response‚” Xulu said.

He said the letter came from BXI Attorneys‚ a Cape Town-based legal firm.

While ANC regional task team (RTT) coordinator Beza Ntshona said he was not aware of any letter that was sent‚ Barnabas Xulu of Banarbas Xulu and Partners confirmed that he sent the letter to the municipality on behalf of the ANC in Nelson Mandela.

“I can confirm I sent the letter. I got a firm instruction from the ANC in Nelson Mandela Bay‚ because that is the affected ANC‚” Xulu said.

Asked who in the ANC in the Bay gave him the instruction‚ Xulu said: “I am not going to identify the individual‚ but I was instructed by the ANC there.”

He said they gave the city until 9am to respond.

“The decision to hold a council meeting‚ we challenged. We have given the matter until 9am today‚ I am not in a position to say we are proceeding or not‚ we are waiting for their response‚” Xulu said.

But Ntshona said: “I am supposed to write letters. The information that there is a letter is new to me. I just heard that from you.

“Even the convenor of the RTT and other members don’t know about this letter.”

ANC national spokesman Zizi Kodwa said he too was not aware of any letter sent on behalf of the ANC.

The Democratic Alliance (DA)‚ United Democratic Movement‚ Congress of the People and African Christian Democratic Party have signed a coalition agreement to join forces to govern the metro.

The inauguration of a new political leadership is set to take place later on Thursday which will see DA mayoral candidate Athol Trollip elected as the new mayor. — The Herald/TMG Digital

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