Port Elizabeth – A vote of no confidence in Nelson Mandela Bay’s Deputy Mayor Mongameli Bobani, brought by the Patriotic Alliance, has been postponed, again.
The vote is on the agenda for the next sitting of the city’s council meeting, which was initially scheduled for August 3. This sitting was postponed to Thursday and has now been postponed to August 24.
The motion was submitted by Patriotic Alliance councillor, Marlon Daniels, and supported by the DA’s Nqaba Bhanga.
The Patriotic Alliance secured one seat in council during last year’s elections and, although initially not part of the coalition, recently signed a co-governance agreement with the DA.
Daniels is gunning for the deputy mayor’s post, as well as the mayoral committee portfolio of Safety and Security, currently occupied by DA councillor, John Best. Daniels has said the portfolio would enable him to do more for the people of the Northern Areas, which is plagued by gangsterism.
Executive mayor Athol Trollip said the postponement had been made by council speaker Jonathan Lawack (DA) as important outstanding reports had not been made available yet.
Rifts in the coalition
Bobani has been at the centre of a growing rift in the Nelson Mandela Bay coalition, most notable in the growing tension between him and Trollip.
Things came to a head in May when Trollip announced that he had removed Bobani as head of the Public Health Directorate on the mayoral committee, saying he could no longer put up with what he called Bobani’s “erratic behaviour”.
An ultimatum was also sent to the UDM national leadership, requesting that Bobani be removed from his position as deputy mayor. This was later withdrawn.
Following this, an independent coalition panel consisting of members from Cope, the ACDP and the Freedom Front Plus, found that there had been a breakdown of trust between Trollip and Bobani. It found both had breached the coalition agreement by making public statements against the other without referring disputes to national leaders.
No certainty vote will succeed
For the vote of no confidence to succeed, the DA led coalition would require the full support of the PA, the ACDP and COPE to secure 60 votes out of the total 120 votes. The seat allocations in the council are DA 57‚ ANC 50‚ EFF six‚ UDM two‚ and COPE‚ ACDP‚ United Front‚ AIC and PA one each.
According to the council rule book, council speaker Lawack would have a casting vote for issues on the agenda, not relating to city finances, which would give him a deciding vote in the case of a tie.
It is however unclear whether COPE and the ACDP will support the motion against Bobani, as both parties local representatives have said they were still waiting on instruction from their national leadership. The ANC has indicated that they would support Bobani.