Nelson Mandela Bay council speaker Buyelwa Mafaya has refused a request by numerous councillors to convene a special council to move forward with a motion of no confidence against Mayor Mongameli Bobani.
The news comes a day after News24 reported that the ANC in the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality seemed to be divided over whether to oust the mayor.
The DA, smaller parties and individuals within the ANC submitted a petition to Mafaya, urging her to hold a special meeting by next Friday. This request has now been denied.
According to the Herald, the petition contained the signatures of ANC councillors Andile Lungisa, Andile Mfunda, Simphiwe Tshaka, Becinga Mbuqu, Xola Tyali and Mzuvukile Bodi.
The publication reported that all the councillors from the DA, Cope and ACDP had also signed, as well as Patriotic Alliance councillor Marlon Daniels, who is a member of the current coalition government.
This brought the number of signatures to 66 out of a council of 120 members, it said.
A letter sent from the Office of the speaker, which News24 has seen, says that "council is on recess in line with Rule 4.3 of Council's Rules of Order with effect from August 12 to September 20. This was communicated to all key stakeholders of council and the municipality in general".
It continues: "Rule 10.6.5 states that no activities will ordinarily be arranged during recess periods. This rule was quoted in a communique received by councillors Trollip and Grootboom as reasons why MPAC should not continue while council is on recess.
"A number of planned MPAC meetings could not sit urgently due to the dictates of Rule 10.6.5 of the Rules of Order of Council as quoted by the councillors concerned.
"Furthermore, the request for a special council submitted on the August 16, is non-compliant with the Rules of Order, Rule 4.3 and 10.6.5 for an emergency or disaster.
"The speaker made it clear that, had conditions been different, she would have responded differently to the request by councillors in line with Rule 4.2 of the Rules of Order of Council," the letter reads.
Earlier this year, Bobani faced a motion of no confidence against him. He, however, said he was not shaken or worried about the attempt to remove him, News24 reported.