Daniel Friedman
3 minute read
15 Jan 2020
10:54 am

‘Bruised’ Trollip livid at ‘coalition discussions’ between Zille and Holomisa

Daniel Friedman

Zille believes Trollip is talking 'from a position of hurt' after losing the election for DA federal council chairperson to her, and says this is not 'another hair-brained, 'Mamphele Ramphele'-type scheme'.

UDM Leader Bantu Holomisa. Picture: Zanele Zulu African News Agency (ANA)

The internal politics of the Democratic Alliance (DA) continues to play out in public, with former Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) mayor Athol Trollip expressing anger on Twitter over alleged coalition talks between DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille and United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa.

Trollip believes this is “outrageous” as, according to him, Holomisa let former NMB mayor Mongameli Bobani “get away with breaking every provision in the previous coalition agreement”.

“Bantu Holomisa cannot be trusted in any coalition and the DA would do well to consider his outrageous insults [and] betrayal of the party and its leadership before even thinking about dealing with the UDM. This smacks of another hair-brained, ‘Mamphele Ramphele’-type scheme by Zille,” Trollip added in a second tweet.

Bobani was initially part of the NMB DA-led coalition government but then took over from Trollip as mayor after his party joined the ANC and EFF in ousting Trollip in a motion of no confidence. He was subsequently accused of corruption and removed as mayor through another vote of no confidence in December last year. Holomisa defended Bobani, calling his removal a “kangaroo court” decision.

Trollip and Zille are seen as rivals within the DA. They were the front runners in the party’s internal elections for the important position of federal council chairperson, which Zille won, resulting in Trollip stepping down as the party’s federal chairperson alongside Mmusi Maimane, who resigned as the party’s leader.

READ MORE: ANC, DA united over ousting of ‘destructive’ PE mayor Bobani

While Trollip stepped down, he clarified that he was still a DA member, and in November last year Grocott’s Mail reported that he met with DA Eastern Cape Nqaba Bhanga to discuss possible roles within the party moving forward, with Bhanga saying he wanted Trollip to consider resuming his former position of mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay should the DA manage to regain power in the metro. It is unclear what resulted from these talks.

Zille responded to questions from The Citizen on Trollip’s tweets, saying she, Holomisa and politicians from other parties including the ANC and ACDP were invited by the German government to visit Germany to discuss the mechanics of coalition governance.

She said “every possible permutation of coalitions” was discussed, but only “theoretically”, and since then only “localised” talks have taken place between Bhanga and opposition leaders in NMB.

She believes he was “bruised” following his loss to her in the federal council chairperson election.

“I think it would rub salt in the wound if he thought that, following his departure, we would be likely to resume governance in NMB,” she said.

She added that the situation was “absolutely incomparable to our negotiations with Mamphela”.

“I think Athol is saying this from a position of hurt, which I entirely understand.”

“I had a long and successful coalition with the UDM when I was Mayor of Cape Town, and I did not experience any problems in discussions with Bantu Holomisa,” she added.

Questions sent to Holomisa were not yet answered at the time of publication.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.