Athol Trollip

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Athol Trollip
Athol Trollip DA MP.jpg
Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality
In office
18 August 2016 – present
Preceded by Danny Jordaan
Federal Chairperson of the Democratic Alliance
In office
10 May 2015 – present
Preceded by Wilmot 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
2009 – 27 October 2011
Preceded by Sandra Botha
Succeeded by Lindiwe Mazibuko
Personal details
Born (1964-03-12) 12 March 1964 (age 53)
Bedford, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Political party Democratic Alliance

Athol Trollip (born 12 March 1964) is a South African politician of the Democratic Alliance (DA) and currently is the Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality since August 2016.[1]

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 is also the leader of the DA in the Eastern Cape.[2]


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.[3] He is a fluent speaker of Afrikaans, English, and Xhosa. He has two children.[3]

Career in politics[edit]

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 (DA), 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 still holds. 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.[5] On 27 October 2011, Trollip was defeated in his bid for re-election as Parliamentary Leader of the DA by fellow MP Lindiwe Mazibuko.[6] He later left the National Assembly to return to the Eastern Cape Legislature in 2013,[7] and was the DA's premier candidate in the Eastern Cape province for the 2014 general election.[8] During this time, Trollip was involved with Helen Zille in welcoming King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo into the DA,[9] despite his conviction on serious criminal charges, stating that he was 'proud' to do so.[10] 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,[11][12] and was also elected as the Federal Chairperson of the DA at the party's Federal Congress in May.[13]

In 2016, Trollip was referred to the South African Human Rights Commission for alleged human rights abuses and unfair labour practices at the family farm, allegations that he strenuously denied.[14][15] The HRC later abandoned the case.[16]

In the municipal elections held on 3 August 2016 the DA won more seats in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality than any other party, but not a majority of seats. With the help of the smaller parties Trollip was elected as mayor of that municipality.[1]


  1. ^ a b Koyana, Xolani (18 August 2016). "DA's Athol Trollip officially elected mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay". Retrieved 2016-08-23. 
  2. ^ "Athol Trollip". Democratic Alliance. Archived from the original on 30 April 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2009. 
  3. ^ a b Athol Trollip. Biography on
  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. ^ "DA names parliamentary leader". IOL. 7 May 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2009. 
  6. ^ Mokone, Thabo (27 October 2011). "Lindiwe Mazibuko elected DA parliamentary leader". Times LIVE. Retrieved 2016-08-04. 
  7. ^ "Trollip back in Eastern Cape, vows to fight for rural development". SABC News. 6 June 2013. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2016-08-04. 
  8. ^ "Zille announces candidate list for 2014 election". 25 January 2014. Retrieved 2016-08-04. 
  9. ^ Naude, Jason (16 July 2013). "King joins DA". DispatchLIVE. Retrieved 2016-08-04. 
  10. ^ van Onselen, Gareth (5 October 2015). "The DA's ANC moment". Business Day Live. Retrieved 2016-08-04. 
  11. ^ "Athol Trollip launches mayoral campaign in Mandela Bay". News24. 12 September 2015. Retrieved 2016-08-04. 
  12. ^ "Trollip is DA mayoral candidate for Mandela Bay". News24. 13 April 2015. Retrieved 2016-08-04. 
  13. ^ Van Damme, Phumzile (10 May 2015). "Our new leadership - DA". Retrieved 2016-08-04. 
  14. ^ Ngcukana, Lubabalo (29 February 2016). "Athol Trollip: It's a smear campaign". CityPress. Retrieved 2016-08-04. 
  15. ^ Ngcukana, Lubabalo (29 February 2016). "Workers accuse Athol Trollip of abuse, racism". CityPress. Retrieved 2016-08-04. 
  16. ^ Koyana, Xolani (25 March 2016). "SAHRC abandons case into Athol Trollip mistreating his farmworkers". Retrieved 2016-08-04. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Danny Jordaan
Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality