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The DA’s chairman of the federal council, James Selfe, sent a letter to city manager Johann Mettler, saying Manyati was no longer a member of the party and thus a vacancy should be declared in the council.

Mettler, upon receiving legal advice, then declared the vacancy and said Manyati was no longer a councillor.

This prompted the DA and its coalition partners Cope and ACDP to stage a walkout of the meeting, hoping to effectively collapse the sitting and leave it without a quorum.

But, the opposition coalition – made up of the ANC, EFF, UDM, AIC and United Front - were adamant that Mettler was wrong as it was ultimately up to the IEC to declare the vacancy, especially as Manyati planned to fight his dismissal and his lawyer had sent a letter in that regard.

Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip had the mayoral chains removed from around his neck on Monday night after a motion of no confidence by opposition parties – but it was his party-mate Mbulelo Manyati who ultimately sealed his fate. A coalition of opposition councillors elected the UDM’s Monagmeli Bobani to replace him. The African Independent Congress’s Thsonono Buyeye was elected deputy mayor, Buyeye Mafaya of the ANC was elected speaker, and Bicks Ndoni, also ANC, was installed as the council’s new chief whip. The DA was, however, planning to legally challenge the meeting – saying it was not duly constituted. The move by opposition parties to remove the DA-led coalition from power followed a dramatic council meeting which first saw speaker Jonathan Lawack removed by the opposition with the help of Manyati, who turned on his party and abstained from voting.  Manyati’s DA membership was terminated less than two hours after his abstention. The DA relied on the clause which allow...

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