Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Athol Trollip were on Wednesday entangled in a twitter spat, with Ndlozi adamant that the party would pursue a motion of no confidence to unseat the mayor and punish him for his "arrogance".
The heated exchange comes after Trollip wrote an open letter to EFF leader Julius Malema on Tuesday inviting him to visit Nelson Mandela Bay, for him to witness first hand how the city was thriving under the Democratic Alliance (DA)-led coalition government and that services were being delivered to the poorest of people.
The three page letter was an emphatic plea to Malema, to dissuade him from going ahead with a pending motion of no confidence expected to be tabled at an upcoming council meeting.
Trollip said that Malema had not visited the city once and the party leader had no first hand experience of what was actually happening: "What is confounding then on the strength of the above is that you have unilaterally decided to punish the DA, myself, this coalition and the people of Nelson Mandela Bay ostensibly because we hold a different ideological position to you on land and the offensive colour of my skin."
“Show our people that you really understand and care for their issues and hear from them yourself whether they want the ANC back in government in their city.”
On Wednesday, Ndlozi lashed out at Trollip on twitter and tweeted: "So Athol Trollip says Julius Malema must first hear the people of Nelson Mandela Bay if they want him out of power before we table a motion of no confidence against him. Well, did the DA ask the people of Cape Town first before they tabled a Motion of No confidence in Patricia De Lille?"
Ndlozi tweeted that Trollip wanted special treatment from the EFF: "Essentially Athol Trollip wants us to do to him what they did not do when it came to Patricia De Lille...he deserves special treatment. This is the arrogance we will be punishing. Our reasons are clear on why we seek to remove Trollip: the DA's attitude to the land; talk about that".
Trollip hit back by replying that no comparison could be made on the De Lille matter as it was an internal party matter: "The difference here is that the Mayor De Lille matter is an internal party matter, such as those the EFF also have had to deal with such as Andile Mngxitama. This is about your intention to punish my "whiteness" and our unchanged position on land. There is no comparison."
The coalition government in the Metro, made up of the DA, Congress of the People (COPE), and the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), hold 59 seats of the total 120-member council.
The African National Congress (ANC) together with the smaller opposition parties collectively hold 61 seats. In the last motion of no confidence against Trollip, he survived by the grace of the EFF's six votes. But, Malema recently announced his party would vote against Trollip if the ANC put forward a credible leader.
If the ANC does this, the EFF will use its voting power in the Nelson Mandela Bay Council to oust Trollip, essentially placing the ANC back in power.