Athol Trollip. Picture: FREDLIN ADRIAAN
Athol Trollip. Picture: FREDLIN ADRIAAN

In one of the shortest political statements recently made‚ ousted Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip had just three words for his successor.

"You are illegitimate‚" Trollip said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

The statement came after the new mayor, Mongameli Bobani‚ hosted a media conference on Wednesday in which he addressed the ongoing saga and friction between himself and municipal manager Johann Mettler.

Bobani had earlier signaled his intention to suspend Mettler‚ but appeared to backtrack at the conference at which "major announcements" were to be made‚ according to the invitation‚ with Bobani passing the microphone to council chief whip Bicks Ndoni, who said‚ ultimately‚ the council had to decide if Mettler was to be suspended or fired.

Media statement by Athol Trollip

In his terse statement‚ Trollip listed his position as "executive mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay"‚ and referred to Bobani simply as a councilor.

Trollip and Bobani have been at odds for months‚ but the matter came to a head just less than two weeks ago when a coalition of parties — headed by the EFF and ANC — removed the DA-led coalition from key positions in the Port Elizabeth-based Nelson Mandela Bay municipality. Trollip was one of those removed.

When TimesLIVE asked Trollip why he issued such a short statement‚ he showed almost as much brevity. "I thought it was enough said about someone masquerading as the mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay at a press conference."