Port Elizabeth – Opposition parties have not been very receptive to the announcement that SA Football Association boss Danny Jordaan has been appointed Nelson Mandela Bay mayor by the ruling ANC.
The Congress of the People said it believed Jordaan made a big mistake accepting the job.
“His judgement has let him down,” Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem said in a statement.
“Danny is a very well respected person in the country and particularly so in sports circles. He has worked assiduously and honestly to build a very good reputation over many years. He stands to sacrifice that now.”
The African National Congress announced on Monday that it was replacing Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Benson Fihla, 83, with Jordaan.
Fihla still has to tender his resignation.
Fourth mayor in six years
Jordaan’s appointment will make him the fourth mayor in six years in a municipality whose ANC-led leadership has been mired by political instability and factional infighting.
Cope said the ANC was mistaken if it thought replacing the mayor would change the situation in Nelson Mandela Bay.
“The problem, unfortunately, lies with the councillors of the ruling party and the personal agendas that they follow,” said Bloem.
“The problem, therefore, is bigger than Danny can handle. The ruling party is handing him a poisoned chalice.”
The Democratic Alliance on Monday said Jordaan’s appointment was a pre-election gimmick by the ANC.
“No matter the public face of the ANC in Nelson Mandela Bay, it will still be the same party that has dragged the city to its knees,” the DA’s mayoral candidate for the region and Eastern Cape leader Athol Trollip said.
“Clearly the ANC is running scared. They have failed in government and cannot find a suitable mayor among their own members in council.”
The Economic Freedom Fighters have called for Jordaan to resign as Safa boss following his appointment.
However, Safa has said there is no need to him to resign as his job at the football association was a non-executive one.
Nelson Mandela Bay will be hotly contested during next year’s local government elections.
On Freedom Day, EFF leader Julius Malema told residents the party was working to take control of the metro.
The DA is also serious about winning the metro. According to reports it said it was prepared to form an alliance with ideological rivals to dislodge the ANC.
Bloem said Cope was also looking to win back support in the region during next year’s election and was encouraged by the support the party was building.
“We know that Nelson Mandela Bay metro will emerge as the very epicentre of the political earthquake that will shake a party that has abandoned and impoverished the people.
“We promise to do our bit to contest every vote as fiercely as we can. The people of the city deserve better,” he said.