WATCH: Is DA, EFF relationship facing Rubicon moment?

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba.

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba.





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JOHANNESBURG - Johannesburg Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba and council Speaker Vasco da Gama face a motion of no confidence in their leadership on Thursday.

And in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro, Mayor Athol Trollip and Speaker Jonathan Lawack face similar motions of no confidence.

In both cities the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) can swing the vote.

The EFF strategically rejected an alliance with the Democratic Alliance (DA)  after the party emerged victorious in both cities in 2016 but without an effective majority. The EFF nevertheless supported the DA based on the fact that it had secured the majority of votes in both cities.

This was also seen as a stern rejection by the EFF of the ANC&39;s soft stance on corruption, and an assertion of the EFF&39;s stated position that it would never enter into an alliance with the ANC.

READ: Mashaba denies fuelling xenophobic eruptions

But the EFF has been harshly critical of Mashaba&39;s performance and utterances since he took over as mayor, and opposed his candidacy prior to the beginning of his tenure, accusing Mashaba of being anti-black and disrespecting black people.

The ANC in Johannesburg previously sought a secret ballot in the no-confidence vote against the mayor, citing financial distress in the city under Mashaba&39;s watch.

It claimed DA leaders were failing to deliver services to Joburg residents.

The DA defended itself, saying it was cleaning up corruption inherited from the previous ANC-led administration.

Many officials have been charged with corruption under Mashaba&39;s helm and the mayor has cited the repair of city roads and solid progress on plans to build informal settlements among his achievements.

The EFF has not indicated which way it will vote, but a vote with the opposition will see the motion to oust Mashaba succeed.

Trollip&39;s day of reckoning

The Nelson Mandela Bay metro has been plagued by factionalism ever since the relationship between Trollip and Deputy Mayor Mongameli Bobani broke down.

Trollip has accused Bobani, a United Democratic Movement member and the party&39;s choice for deputy mayor in its alliance with the DA, of trying to undermine his leadership. 

Bobani was dismissed as deputy mayor after a vote of no confidence in August.

The UDM subsequently lost a court appeal to have him reinstated.

The DA led-coalition has 59 council seats in Nelson Mandela Bay, while opposition parties have 57. The EFF&39;s six seats will, therefore, decide the outcome of the vote.

The Patriotic Alliance (PA) exited its alliance with the DA in September and teamed up with the UDM’s Bobani to propose the motions of no confidence.

This was after the PA&39;s  Marlon Daniels had supported Bobani&39;s dismissal. However, Daniels claimed that he had been promised the deputy mayor position and, on being denied the post, claimed that he no longer believed that Trollip was trustworthy.

“I didn’t think at my age somebody could deceive me with lies. I thought my experience would guide me through this. Athol Trollip is a person who lies on a daily basis, he goes along as things evolve to suit him,” Daniels said in September.

He has since apologised for his complicity in the ousting of Bobani.

READ: NMB fiasco: DA to sit with coalition partners

“We never had a problem with Councillor Marlon Daniels. Our major problem is the lies that Mr Trollip is busy throwing against myself and my party,” Bobani said.

The ACDP has criticised Daniels&39;s position. 

“It means they want to bring the ANC back, that’s the only way for them to form a government... The people of this metro had made it clear last year that they were tired of the way the ANC had been governing... as the ACDP we support tomorrow (Thursday) the mayor,” said the ACDP&39;s Lance Grootboom.

The ANC said it would support the no-confidence motion, meaning Trollip&39;s future lies in the hands of the Red Berets.

The EFF councillors have not made their position clear but, once again, their vote will determine whether the motion succeeds or fails.

The DA in the interim has proposed scrapping the position of deputy mayor altogether.