South Africa: Tension high as Nelson Mandela Bay swears in new mayor

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) – There were dramatic scenes at the first meeting of the new Nelson Mandela Bay council on Thursday where Democratic Alliance (DA) Athol Trollip was elected the new executive major.

PANA reports that members of the African National Congress (ANC) who were humiliated in the local government elections earlier this month, attempted to prevent the meeting from going ahead.

The DA emerged as leaders in the crucial port city with 46.7% of the vote and 57 seats in the 120-seat council.

The ANC secured 40.9%, gaining 50 seats, a major drop from its 62 seats won in 2011. The victory signals a dramatic shift in a society that has demonstrated its frustration with poor governance and corruption.

When Trollip attempted to speak, ANC members stormed out. DA councillor Jonathan Lewack warned the audience to behave, saying "this house is governed by order."

When Trollip finally spoke, he said Nelson Mandela Bay has a rich history of reconciliation and this has once again manifested in democratic change and hope for hundreds of thousands of residents.

“It is humbling that in the city named after our iconic President, Nelson Mandela, that it is now our responsibility to cooperate with other opposition parties in the spirit of reconciliation and redress to deliver good governance to the people of this city.

"After too many years of broken promises, I once again felt a new sense of hope; a visceral expression of unity. Just as we did in 1994, we have again used our vote to change course and to choose change and hope.”

He said the election has demonstrated that the voters have rejected the politics of racial division, race-baiting, and cheap gimmicks and have embraced the politics of reconciliation, redress, delivery and diversity.

“I will do everything possible to foster these values in the interest of all the citizens of this City. In this regard, allow me to quote President Mandela who said no one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin or his background or his religion,” he added.
-0- PANA CU/VAO 18Aug2016

18 august 2016 13:42:29

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