The African National Congress' (ANC's) expected attempt to capitalise on a dispute between coalition partners the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the United Democratic Movement (UDM) by bringing a motion of no confidence against Mayor Athol Trollip failed to materialise on Tuesday.
This after 11th hour talks between the national leaders of the coalition partners, Mmusi Maimane and Bantu Holomisa.
The conflict between the DA and UDM became apparent last week when a special meeting of the Nelson Mandela Bay council could not proceed as deputy mayor and regional UDM chairperson Mongameli Bobani and fellow UDM councillor Thoko Tshangela were deliberately absent from council. Councillors from other coalition partners, namely the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) and Congress of the People (Cope) were present.
The UDM's absence, along with a boycott by the ANC, Economic Freedom Fighters and other non-coalition parties, meant the coalition government could not get the necessary 61 seats to make quorum and the meeting could not proceed and was postponed to Tuesday.
At the time Bobani said the UDM had boycotted the council meeting as the party wanted city manager Johann Mettler removed with immediate effect. He also expressed his party's unhappiness with the extension of Vuyo Zitumane's contract as acting executive director of corporate services, and the firing of executive director of corporate services Mod Ndoyana by Mettler.
However, speaking after the council meeting today, Bobani said he and Mayor Trollip had had a successful meeting with their national leaders in Cape Town on Monday and had been able to resolve their disagreements.
'No cracks, just a difference of opinions'
Bobani said the UDM accepted the council's decision to extend Zitumane's contract until the post was filled and was also satisfied with feedback from Mettler regarding Ndoyana's dismissal.
"We are also happy...with the appointment of the municipal manager," he said.
Bobani said they were still waiting to hear back from Eastern Cape co-operative governance MEC Fikile Xasa regarding his concerns relating to the recruitment panel that interviewed candidates for the city manager post.
"There were no cracks, only difference of opinions. Last night we had talks and those differences have been resolved," said Bobani.
Following the fallout between the UDM and the DA last week provincial ANC spokesperson Gift Ngqondi said the ANC would be seeking to bring a motion of no confidence against both Trollip and Mettler when council resumed.
He said the ANC was hopeful that the motion would be supported by the other political parties.
Motion was 'a rumour'
However, the motion of no confidence failed to materialise, with Nelson Mandela Bay ANC party leader Bicks Ndoni saying it had never been on the table in the first place.
Ndoni said he was on record on Monday saying that the official position of the party was that there would be no motion of no confidence brought against Trollip, despite "rumours" to the contrary.
Ndoni emphasised that, when it came to matters of council, it was important that journalists speak to him directly.
During council proceedings controversial ANC councillor Andile Lungisa tried to bring a motion of exigency before council, but was shut down by speaker Jonathan Lewack.
Lungisa is currently facing charges of assault for attacking a DA councillor with a glass jug during a scuffle in council last year.
Ndoni said Lungisa's motion was not related to the move against Trollip, but was about removals in Wells Estate and whether these had been conducted legally.