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Roland Athol Price Trollip (born 12 March 1964) is a South African politician of the Democratic Alliance (DA) and former Executive Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, serving from August 2016[1] until he was unseated in a vote of no confidence in August 2018.[2]

Athol Trollip
Athol Trollip DA MP.jpg
Executive Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality
In office
18 August 2016 – 27 August 2018
DeputyMongameli Bobani (2016-2017)
Preceded byDanny Jordaan
Succeeded byMongameli Bobani
Federal Chair of the Democratic Alliance
Assumed office
10 May 2015
Preceded byWilmot James
Member of Provincial Legislature in the Eastern Cape
In office
5 June 2013 – 18 August 2016
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly of South Africa
In office
7 May 2009 – 27 October 2011
Preceded bySandra Botha
Succeeded byLindiwe Mazibuko
Member of the National Assembly
In office
6 May 2009 – 1 June 2013
Personal details
Born (1964-03-12) 12 March 1964 (age 55)
Bedford, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Political partyDemocratic Alliance
Janine Handley (m. 2016)

Trollip has served as member of the National Assembly and as a member of the Provincial Legislature of the Eastern Cape Province. He served as Parliamentary Leader of the opposition between 2009 and 2011. He was provincial leader of the DA in the Eastern Cape from 2002 until he was replaced on 6 May 2017 by Nqaba Bhanga.[3]


Early lifeEdit

Trollip was born in the town of Bedford in the Eastern Cape, attended Woodridge College, and studied Agricultural Management at the University of Natal in Pietermaritzburg.

Career in politicsEdit

Trollip joined the liberal Progressive Federal Party in 1980.[4] His political career began in earnest when he became a municipal councillor for the PFP's successor, the Democratic Party, in 1995. He was elected as provincial chairperson in 1998 and then as the renamed DA's leader in the Eastern Cape in 2002, a position he held for 15 years. Trollip served as a Member of the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature between 1999 and 2009.

He unsuccessfully ran for party leader against Helen Zille in 2007.

In 2009, Trollip became a Member of Parliament in the National Assembly and after winning a leadership contest against Ryan Coetzee assumed the position of Parliamentary Leader of the DA. On 27 October 2011, Trollip was defeated in his bid for re-election as Parliamentary Leader of the DA by fellow MP Lindiwe Mazibuko.[5] He later left the National Assembly to return to the Eastern Cape Legislature in 2013,[6] and was the DA's premier candidate in the Eastern Cape province for the 2014 general election.[7] During this time, Trollip was involved with Helen Zille in welcoming King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo into the DA,[8] despite his conviction on serious criminal charges. Dalindyebo was subsequently expelled from the DA when the conviction was upheld on appeal.

In 2015, Trollip returned to national prominence within the DA. On 13 April he was announced as the DA candidate for Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality in the 2016 Local Government Elections,[1][9] and was also elected as the Federal Chairperson of the DA at the party's Federal Congress in May.[10]

In 2016, Trollip was referred to the South African Human Rights Commission (HRC) for alleged human rights abuses and unfair labour practices at the family farm near in the Eastern Cape, allegations that he strenuously denied.[11][12] The HRC later abandoned the case, citing the difficulty of investigating events alleged to have happened between the 1970s and 2000s, and that the incidents happened before the current, constitutional dispensation and involved "issues of pre-jurisdiction".[13][14]

Mayoral careerEdit

In the municipal elections held on 3 August 2016, the DA won a plurality of seats in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, but not a majority of seats. With the help of the smaller parties United Democratic Movement, Congress of the People and the African Christian Democratic Party Trollip was elected as mayor of that municipality.[1] He served in the position for 2 years, under which the metro received a ratings upgrade from Moody's.[15]

Tensions soon arose between Trollip and his deputy mayor from the UDM, Mongameli Bobani, requiring frequent interventions by the respective party leaderships to mend the relationship. The relationship eventually broke down and Bobani was ousted from the coalition in late 2017. After this, Trollip faced several no confidence motions in his mayoralty. One was tabled to be heard on 30 March 2018. The vote was postponed, because the city council meeting descended into chaos due to the actions of the opposition parties, EFF and ANC.[16]

In August 2018, the opposition finally succeeded in replacing Trollip. He was succeeded by Bobani. DA councillor Victor Manyati abstained from supporting his party's position in a speaker vote, and the DA and its supporters left the council.[17] Bobani was then elected with 61 votes in favour, and none against.[2] The DA legally challenged the removal of Trollip as executive mayor.[18] The vote of no confidence in Trollip occurred after a DA council walkout and therefore the DA states that there was no longer a quorum in the council when the vote occurred.[19] However, the high court upheld Bobani's appointment, stating that Manyathi had still been a DA member at the time and as such there was a quorum.

Trollip currently serves as leader of the opposition on the Nelson Mandela Bay council.

Personal lifeEdit

He is a fluent speaker of Afrikaans, English, and Xhosa. He has two children. Trollip married Janine Handley on 5 November 2016 at Kasouga.[20]


  1. ^ a b c "Athol Trollip launches mayoral campaign in Mandela Bay". News24. 12 September 2015. Retrieved 2016-08-04.
  2. ^ a b "UDM's Mongameli Bobani elected new mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay". IOL News. Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  3. ^ "DA elects Nqaba Bhanga as E Cape's new leader", SABC Digital News, 2017-05-06
  4. ^ "Athol Trollip launches mayoral campaign in Mandela Bay". News24. 12 September 2015. I have spent the majority of my life in public service. I joined the DA’s predecessor party, the PFP, in 1980 because they were fighting against Apartheid, and my family supported that fight
  5. ^ Mokone, Thabo (27 October 2011). "Lindiwe Mazibuko elected DA parliamentary leader". Times LIVE. Retrieved 2016-08-04.
  6. ^ "Trollip back in Eastern Cape, vows to fight for rural development". SABC. 2013-06-06. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2017-05-07.
  7. ^ "Zille announces candidate list for 2014 election". 2014-01-25.
  8. ^ Naude, Jason (2013-07-16). "King joins DA". DispatchLIVE. Retrieved 2017-05-06.
  9. ^ "Trollip is DA mayoral candidate for Mandela Bay". News24. 13 April 2015. Retrieved 2016-08-04.
  10. ^ van Damme, Phumzile (2015-05-10). "Our new leadership - DA". Politics Web. Retrieved 2017-05-06.
  11. ^ Ngcukana, Lubabalo (2016-02-29). "Athol Trollip: It's a smear campaign". CityPress. Retrieved 2017-05-06.
  12. ^ Ngcukana, Lubabalo (2016-02-29). "Workers accuse Athol Trollip of abuse, racism". CityPress. Retrieved 2017-05-06.
  13. ^ Koyana, Xolani (2016-03-25). "SAHRC abandons case into Athol Trollip mistreating his farmworkers". Eyewitness News. Retrieved 2017-05-06.
  14. ^ Tandwa, Lizeka (2016-03-29). "SAHRC drops investigation on Athol Trollip family". News24. Retrieved 2017-05-06.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Numbers remain on our side: NMB Mayor Athol Trollip". eNCA. 30 March 2018. Retrieved 2018-04-08.
  17. ^ "Breaking: Athol Trollip voted out of office as DA member flips on mayor". The South African. 2018-08-27. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  18. ^ "DA heads to court over vote ousting Athol Trollip". Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  19. ^ reporter, Citizen. "DA maintains Trollip's ousting was unlawful, will head to court". The Citizen.
  20. ^ "Janine Trollip". HeraldLIVE. Archived from the original on 2018-03-30. Retrieved 2018-04-08.
Political offices
Preceded by
Danny Jordaan
Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality
Mongameli Bobani