Eastern Cape DA leader Nqaba Bhanga was re-elected as the mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay at a special council meeting today.
He defeated EFF councillor and regional chair of the party Amandlangawethu Madaka with 62 votes to 57.
Today’s special meeting was held after the Port Elizabeth High Court last week declared that his election as mayor at a chaotic council meeting on December 4 was unconstitutional and that the election should be rerun within seven days. Today’s meeting was agreed upon at an out of court settlement between Bhanga and Eastern Cape co-operative governance MEC Xolile Nqatha who had taken him to court.
In an interview with Gateway News last December, ACDP councillor Lance Grootboom who is a member of a diverse coalition that voted for Bhanga on December 4, expressed hope that a long season of political instability in the metro was coming to an end — and that it was a time for Christians to play an active role in rebuilding the city.
Announcing his mayoral committee on December 16, during his first short period in office, Bhanga said his core team — made up of coalition partners — was “the embodiment of good governance,” reported Dispatch Live.
At the time he also, reportedly said: “Turning the fortunes of Nelson Mandela Bay around is not going to be easy.
“They will throw stones at us.
“I pray before I leave my house because when they throw stones, we won’t feel them.
“No-one will break us because we’ve got God on our side.”
He said it was fitting that the mayoral committee announcement had taken place on the same day SA commemorated Reconciliation Day.
In a live interview with eNCA today, the re-elected NMB mayor said God had allowed him to be re-elected and had allowed the situation to take place where he had to be re-elected, a Christian leader who watched the interview told Gateway News today.
Earlier today Lance Grootboom, standing with coalition partners outside the City Hall, told media that council speaker Buyelwa Mafaya and former councillor Andile Lungisa were allegedly plotting to disrupt the special meeting.
The meeting, which resulted in Bhanga’s re-election, was delayed for three hours and was adjourned twice after it finally started.